The Kansas City Star Tries Not To Print The Word "Redskins" Because It's A Racial Epithet

Illustration for article titled The Kansas City Star Tries Not To Print The Word "Redskins" Because It's A Racial Epithet

An interesting note from the public editor of The Kansas City Star on the paper's policy of avoidance when it comes to the mascot of the NFL team from Washington:

[H]ere, 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.

I almost always come down on the side of publishing a word when it's the crux of a debate (as I did here in the first paragraph). It isn't healthy for discourse to pretend any words or thoughts don't exist.

But I see no compelling reason for any publisher to reprint an egregiously offensive term as a casual matter of course.


It's hard to tell how much the paper sticks to their word on that one, but it seems like the policy is pretty strict. A search for "Redskins" on (the Star's website) turns up about 150 results. For comparison's sake, the same search on turns up about 55,000. If you look at websites owned by papers that cover other AFC teams, like—the website of the Cleveland Plain-Dealer—or, you'll find about 5200 and 2050, respectively. Some of the results on the Star's website seem to be from wire services.

Sadly the Chiefs won't play the Redskins this year, so we won't get to see any awkward tip-toeing around the name in full-fledged game previews or summaries, but as noted here, when followed, the rule occasionally makes for some weird copy.

Before you ask, the Chiefs are named for one-time Mayor Harry "Chief" Bartle.

Star Policy On Washington NFL Team's Name [Ad Astrum, Kansas City Star]

h/t Alex P.