US & Canada

Washington Post editorial board abandons 'Redskins'

Washington Redskins tackle Tom Compton (68) and quarterback Kirk Cousins (8) celebrate with running back Evan Royster (26), after Royster's touchdown during the first half of an NFL preseason football game 18 August 2014 Image copyright AP
Image caption The team's owner daniel Snyder says the name honours Native Americans

The Washington Post's editorial board has said it will no longer use the word "Redskins", the name of Washington's football team, in opinion articles, saying the name is offensive.

The board wrote it did not think fans who like the name have racist feelings towards Native Americans, but "the fact remains - the word is insulting".

The shift does not apply to the paper's news coverage nor to reader letters.

The team's owner refuses to change the name he says honours Native Americans.

Washington Post's editorial board, which handles opinion writing and operates separately from the news staff, has called for the team to change its name since 1992.

"We have decided that, except when it is essential for clarity or effect, we will no longer use the slur ourselves," it 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 team's owner Daniel Snyder has come under increasing pressure to change the name, from US Senators, to major sport journalists and national newspapers. President Barack Obama has said Mr Snyder should consider a new name.

One American football legend, Super Bowl-winning quarterback Phil Simms, has said he is considering only referring to the team as "Washington" while announcing games during the upcoming season.

And in June the US patent office cancelled six of the trademarks belonging to the team, finding the team name a slur against Native Americans and thus ineligible for trademark protection.

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