Sportress of Blogitude


New York Daily News announces it will ‘Sack the Name’ Redskins from paper (pics)


The New York Daily News announced on Wednesday in an editorial entitled “Sack the Name” that the newspaper will no longer use the Redskins name in its NFL coverage, joining papers all across the country (see here) who have decided against using the team’s name, instead opting to refer to the team as Washington and Washington only.

The paper made the announcement in advance of the publication of its “National Football League Preview” on Thursday.

This policy applies to articles written by staff and associated images, but the paper will continue to ” publish the term Redskin in reader letters about the controversy and in quotations in stories about the controversy when a full quotation seems particularly relevant.”

The tabloid also announced that it will stop using the team’s traditional logo as well, writing that the insignia “depicting a feathered Native American has been replaced with an image that uses the team’s burgundy and gold colors to key readers to stories, columns and statistics relating to Washington.”

Some images that document the change in policy from the venerable New York tabloid.

An excerpt from the editorial:

Enormously popular and deeply ingrained in sporting culture, the Redskins name is a throwback to a vanished era of perniciously casual racial attitudes. No new franchise would consider adopting a name based on pigmentation — Whiteskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins or Redskins — today. The time has come to leave the word behind.

Loyalty, tradition, affection and nostalgia all weigh heavily toward accepting the name as an artifact that has been cleansed of derogatory meaning by association with celebrated athletics.

While the team ownership and many fans hold such a belief in good faith, the inescapable truth is that the term Redskin derives solely from the racial characteristic of skin tone in a society that is struggling mightily to be color-blind.

Still more, many Native Americans view the word as a slur born in the country’s inglorious victimization of their ancestors. Their representatives have persuaded a federal panel to rule that the team name and logo are offensive and should be stripped of U.S. trademark protection.

Why drop the term now? Why not yesterday or last year? The answer is that, as attitudes evolve, words can move from common parlance to unacceptable in good company.

See the end of “Negro” and the rise of “black” or “African-American,” the end of “retarded” and the rise of “developmentally disabled,” the end of “handicapped” and the rise of “people with disabilities.”

Here’s a simple test of whether Redskin passes muster: Would you use the term in referring to Native Americans in anything other than a derogatory way?

The answer, of course, is no. So it will pass from stories and columns chronicling Washington’s ups and downs. An inextricable extension of the brand, the logo will go as well.

While the paper has every right to make editorial decisions how it goes about reporting “All the News That’s Fit to Print” — wait, that’s the motto of The New York Times (arguably a more “reputable” New York daily), not the Daily NewsNew York Magazine makes an interesting point about how the term “Redskins” is “now officially too offensive for the New York tabloid that called the mayor an “ass” on its cover earlier this summer.”

Fair point. And yet, this editorial decision to refrain from using the term for the D.C. NFL team is evolving from a trend into becoming a commonplace policy. Despite the public outcry by both news organizations, politically motivated groups and the like, owner Daniel Snyder remains steadfast in his resistance to ever changing the name. It remains to be seen, however, how long he can hold out against the growing list of powerful entities — both public and private — who fervently oppose its use.