Kent Babb is a columnist for The Kansas City Star who is joining The Washington Post next week. Now that Babb is moving to D.C., maybe he'll finally have the opportunity to refer to Washington's NFL franchise by its actual name.
Public editor Derek Donovan detailed the reasoning behind the Star's decision in a blog post earlier this week:
And here, I also agree very strongly with The Star's longtime policy on this matter. I remain unconvinced by every argument I've ever heard that the name is not a racial epithet, plain and simple. And I'll even break my usual rule about commenting on issues outside The Star's journalism to say that I find it inconceivable that the NFL still allows such a patently offensive name and mascot to represent the league in 2012.
The nickname of Washington's football team -- and Native American nicknames in general -- will always be a point of contention despite the fact that the Redskins have been named as such even before they arrived here in 1937 (1933, for those wondering).
For example, Uni Watch's Paul Lukas had this to say this week:
The intersection of sports and Native Americans is a touchy area, and it frequently descends into angry name-calling. But I don't think it has to be that way. If you're fine with the use of Native American imagery, that doesn't automatically make you a racist. And if you're opposed to it, that doesn't make you an activist crusader. In short, I think reasonable people can disagree on this issue.
The chances that the Redskins ever change their name are probably somewhere between slim and none, but that doesn't mean that the argument will ever go away.
In the mean time, welcome to town, Mr. Babb. Write the word "Redskins" to your heart's content.
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