Washington (AFP) - The Washington Post newspaper's editorial board announced Friday it will no longer use the controversial nickname of the National Football League's Washington Redskins, supporting calls that the word is offensive.
The newspaper's editorial page has championed a name change for many years, noting in 1992 the term Redskins "is really pretty offensive" to Native Americans, with the team's logo a profile of a Native American warrior's face.
Team owner Daniel Snyder has disagreed and is fighting a court ruling that would strip the "Redskins" trademark from the team, likely pressuring the league to force a name change for financial reasons to avoid counterfeit products and lost revenues in an area where all league teams share income.
The Post editorial board said the issue is no longer a question to its members.
"The matter seems clearer to us now than ever, and while we wait for the National Football League to catch up with thoughtful opinion and common decency, we have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves," The board wrote.
"That's the standard we apply to all offensive vocabulary and the team name unquestionably offends not only many Native Americans but many other Americans, too."
The board noted NFL referee Mike Carey, who retired after 19 seasons and noted that he had asked not to officiate any Redskins games because of the disrespect he saw in the nickname, a request the league had granted since 2006.
The nickname came with the team when it moved to the US capital from Boston after the 1936 NFL season.
The move by the newspaper pertains only to editorials and not news or sports stories and the term would not be edited out of published letters to the editor.
"Unlike our colleagues who cover sports and other news, we on the editorial board have the luxury of writing about the world as we would like it to be," the editorial board said.