The Seattle Times newspaper has decided to ban the name “Redskins” from its print edition and website, sports editor Don Shelton wrote in a blog post on Wednesday.
“We’ll probably receive scathing emails, letters, phone calls and reader comments telling me we’re too PC, that the name actually honors Native Americans or that we have no right to change a team’s official name,” Shelton wrote. “Everyone’s entitled to an opinion – even if I don’t buy it. We’re banning the name for one reason: It’s offensive. Far from honoring Native Americans, the term colors an entire race. Many Native Americans consider it an outdated label placed on their people.”
Shelton said he felt it was time to go further than the policy the paper adopted in the early 1990s, which kept the use of the word “Redskins” to once per article and out of headlines and photo captions. As Shelton pointed out, the Times won’t be the first newspaper to formally ban the Washington pro football team’s name. The Times will still allow “Redskins” to appear in articles that deal with the controversy surrounding the team’s name.
Shelton announced the policy change on the same day that the United States Patent and Trademark Office ruled to cancel six of the Redskins’ trademark registrations.
In his blog post, Shelton said he welcomed reader’s opinions.
“Still,” he wrote, “your feedback won’t change our decision. Some things are too important to be put to a vote.”