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Last year, after Deadspin highlighted the long-time policy of the Kansas City Star not to print the name of D.C.’s football team, Washington City Paper held a vote on how to change the in-house style here for referring to the team, whose actual name is defined in the dictionary as a “usually offensive” term for Native Americans. From five options, our readers picked the Washington Pigskins, and that’s now the official substitute in City Paper for the Burgundy and Gold.
Since then, despite pressure from members of Congress, the media, and Native American activists, owner Dan Snyder has vowed “NEVER” to change the name of the team. (Which prompted Deadspin to demand that Snyder change his name.) Today, City Paper is debuting a new occasional feature, the Pigskins Shame Spiral, which will track developments on the name controversy. Our first installment is below. Enjoy, and hail to the Pigskins.
Who: Conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh.
Change the name? No.
Why: “The fans, if it were really that upsetting to the fans, nobody would be going to FedEx Stadium. And FedEx Stadium is sold out every week. It obviously isn’t upsetting too many people. And yet you want the federal government to come in here with their jack-booted thugs, or iron-fist people, and do what? … The fact of the matter is, our society is NOT that offended by it, and DOESN’T think that it’s that big a deal, as evidenced by [Pigskins] sell-outs and high TV ratings. So the advocates, the people who don’t like the [Pigskins] names are just a bunch of PC jerks. They’re politically correct liberals who want the federal government to come in—wah wah wah wah, we don’t like [Pigskins], and we don’t want to have to see it.”
Shame Spiral Rating: SMH. Limbaugh doesn’t have much credibility when it comes to the intersection of race and football, but then again, he does have a lot of listeners. Still, do local fans really care what a lifelong Pittsburgh Steelers fan who tried to buy an ownership stake in the St. Louis Rams thinks either way?
Illustration by Jandos Rothstein