News & Politics

Slate Announces It Will No Longer Use the Team Name “Redskins”

The site, owned by the Washington Post Company, joins other media outlets around the US.

Several media outlets have announced they will no longer refer to Washington’s NFL team as the “Redskins.” Photograph by Flickr user Keith Allison.

Slate, the online media outlet owned by the Washington
Post Company, announced on


that it will no longer refer to the “Redskins” NFL team with
that particular name,
which some people, including Native Americans, have called
offensive. Slate joins
several other media organizations that have announced the same

Slate’s editorial, penned by the site’s editor,
David Plotz, begins with this blunt declaration: “This is the last Slate article that will refer
to the Washington NFL team as the Redskins.” Later Plotz writes, “While the name Redskins
is only a bit offensive, it’s extremely tacky and dated—like an old aunt who still
talks about ‘colored people’ or limps her wrist to suggest someone’s gay.” Plotz notes
that while the Post Company owns the site, the two entities “have always been editorially
independent.” Still, he says, “as a
Post subscriber, I wish they would change” and also stop using the name.

Team owner
Dan Snyder has been more than adamant that he won’t change the name, despite growing verbal
protests. In May 2013 he told
, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.”

NFL commissioner
Roger Goodell has backed Snyder. In a June

to the Congressional Native American Caucus, Goodell said, “For
the team’s millions
of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most
ethnically and geographically
diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for
strength, courage,
pride and respect.”

Other media outlets that have announced they will not use the Redskins name include
Washington City Paper, DCist, the
Kansas City Star, the
Oregonian, and writers from
Buffalo News and
Philadelphia Daily News.

Plotz says the Slate decision is unlikely to rock Snyder or the NFL. “When we stop
using the name ‘Redskins,’ hardly anyone will notice.” But, he wrote, “changing how
you talk changes how you think.” As an alternative, Plotz says the site will likely
use either “Washington” or “Washington’s NFL team” when doing stories.

Asked about Slate’s decision, a Redskins representative merely replied, “No comment.”

The Redskins play their first preseason game of the 2013 season Thursday night in
Nashville against the Tennessee Titans.