WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The online magazine Slate.com and two other publications have said they will no longer refer to the National Football League’s Washington, D.C., football team as “Redskins,” a name Native Americans have condemned as offensive.
The Washington franchise has long declined to change its name despite criticism from Native Americans and others. A group of Native Americans has gone to court to void the federal trademark protections of the team’s name.
“This is the last Slate article that will refer to the Washington NFL team as the Redskins,” Slate editor David Plotz wrote on the magazine’s website on Thursday.
He said the decision was about recognizing that “something that may seem innocent to you may be painful to others.”
In response to Slate’s announcement, New Republic editor Franklin Foer Tweeted on Thursday that his publication would follow suit.
The liberal Mother Jones magazine said on Friday it also would avoid using the name.
Other newspapers, websites and sports writers have taken similar stands, including The Washington City Paper, Washington online site DCist.com, the Kansas City Star newspaper and football writers at the Buffalo News and the Philadelphia Daily News.
The National Congress of American Indians, an advocacy group, said Slate.com recognized “the derogatory origins and nature of the team’s name.”
But team owner Daniel Snyder recently told the newspaper USA Today, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. Never. You can use all caps.”
Representatives for the Redskins declined to comment about the decisions by Slate and the other media organizations.
Editing by Ian Simpson and Kenneth Barry