And now Rachel Maddow has piled on. In a recent segment, she referred to the team as “the R-word” instead of calling them by name. Check out the video report up top. Slate’s announcement has encouraged not just Maddow but other publishers to announce they will refuse to say Redskins ever again.
But there’s a but. It seems to me that I’ve been hearing the debate about the hated name for my entire life. Native American activists have complained about it for decades. They’ve even gone to court over the issue a time or two.
Yet team owner Daniel Snyder has said repeatedly that he won’t change the Washington Redskins name. Earlier this year, he told USA Today, “We will never change the name…the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about…”
The campaign has picked up steam rather slowly.
Yahoo! Sports reported in 2012 that alternative newspaper Washington City Paper decided to stop saying Redskins and to instead use the nickname Pigskins in its place.
Slate’s David Plotz said that their publication won’t go all cutesy with a made-up nickname. They’ll simply refer to the team as Washington or Washington’s NFL team.
But of course not everyone agrees, or we wouldn’t still be having this discussion. Some people actually appear to agree with Snyder that the old name represents tradition. Watch out on Twitter, because it’s a huge joke over there.
Not only is "Redskins" racist, but so is "Washington." An old white dude who didn't like taxes? NICE. I say we change this town to Obama DC.
— Jim Treacher (@jtLOL) August 13, 2013
Do you think the new Washington Redskins boycott will work? Or will this tedious racist name debate still be raging in another forty years?