Vast majority of papers still use Washington nickname

Josh Carpenter and Alex Silverman of Sports Business Daily polled 48 major newspapers in NFL markets, plus USA Today, Wall Street Journal and the Los Angeles Times about whether they will continue to use Washington’s nickname. The outcome: 44 still are using it even with the recent uproar.

From the story:

Even with the number of papers not using the name quadrupling in the past year, they are still in the minority. Some major papers cited a desire to abstain from taking a side on the issue, and therefore continue using the name, while others simply have chosen to adhere to the team’s official name. The N.Y. Times continues to use the team’s nickname, but Assistant Managing Editor for Standards Philip Corbett said that the paper’s staff has continued to discuss and cover the issues surrounding the name. He said when referring to the football team, “I don’t believe readers think that The Times is intending the term as a slur. We’re also wary about taking sides in an ongoing controversy that we’re covering as a news organization.” He added, “It’s certainly legitimate to question the use of sports names with that sort of background or history. In the end, though, I’m not sure The Times’ stylebook is the place where this debate is going to be resolved.” The L.A. Times in May published an editorial calling on the NFL to force the team to change the name. However, because the NFL still recognizes “Redskins” as the official moniker, Sports Editor Mike James wrote in an e-mail, “We’re not ready to make the step to stop using it.” He added the paper is having “ongoing discussions” about its use in print and online. “As someone who grew up in DC and was a die-hard fan growing up,” James wrote, “I’ve had some difficulty for some time understanding why a team in the nation’s capital would continue to use — and continue to be allowed to use — a recognized slur as a nickname.”

Indeed, this does fall under the category of journalists making news instead of covering the news if a publication decides not to use the nickname. Still, it definitely is a slur.

As you can see, the nickname isn’t being used here.




3 thoughts on “Vast majority of papers still use Washington nickname

  1. Ed:

    To each his own.

    Since that is still “officially” the team’s name; until or unless that changes, those newspapers have the right to use it.

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