The Pigskins Shame Spiral is an occasional feature tracking developments related to the name of D.C.’s beloved football team.
Who: The Washington Post editorial board.
Change the name? Yes.
Why? “While we wait for the NFL to catch up with public opinion and common decency we have decided not to use the slur ourselves except when it is essential for clarity or effect,” the board said in a statement.
Shame Spiral rating: Finger wag. The Washington Post is the main hometown paper for the Washington football team, which means they their coverage reaches a significant number of fans of the team. But this ban only applies to the editorial board, not to, say, the sports pages. The slur will still be used over the paper. Heck, even the Post article reporting on the editorial board’s decision used the actual team name. And that’s because, according to Post Executive Editor Marty Baron, the news-gathering side of the paper wants to “avoid any advocacy role on this subject.”
Until the entire Post takes a stand and bans the team name from its widely read pages, this won’t earn more than a finger wag.
Illustration by Jandos Rothstein