N.Y. Daily News disavows ‘Redskins’ — and the team’s logo, to boot

September 3

The Daily News will henceforth be describing this matchup as “Washington vs. Giants.” (Toni L. Sandys/The Washington Post)

Recently, the editorial board of The Washington Post announced that it would no longer use the word “Redskins.” Well, the New York Daily News has gone a couple of steps further, announcing Wednesday that its entire operation will not only avoid the term, but the team’s logo, as well.

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In an editorial with the headline, “Sack the name,” The Daily News said that the Redskins’ logo “depicting a feathered Native American has been replaced with an image that uses the team’s maroon and yellow colors to key readers to stories, columns and statistics relating to Washington.”

That’s the logo The Daily News will use, to the left, and, yes, the newspaper did describe Washington’s color scheme as “maroon and yellow.” Well, that’s a little better than “maroon and black,” right?

This news comes just before thousands of media outlets in every city with an NFL team are set to receive a letter from a coalition of Native American groups, asking those outlets to stop using the name.

From The Daily News:

Enormously popular and deeply ingrained in sporting culture, the Redskins name is a throwback to a vanished era of perniciously casual racial attitudes. No new franchise would consider adopting a name based on pigmentation — Whiteskins, Blackskins, Yellowskins or Redskins — today. The time has come to leave the word behind.

Loyalty, tradition, affection and nostalgia all weigh heavily toward accepting the name as an artifact that has been cleansed of derogatory meaning by association with celebrated athletics.

While the team ownership and many fans hold such a belief in good faith, the inescapable truth is that the term Redskin derives solely from the racial characteristic of skin tone in a society that is struggling mightily to be color-blind.

Still more, many Native Americans view the word as a slur born in the country’s inglorious victimization of their ancestors. Their representatives have persuaded a federal panel to rule that the team name and logo are offensive and should be stripped of U.S. trademark protection.

Why drop the term now? Why not yesterday or last year? The answer is that, as attitudes evolve, words can move from common parlance to unacceptable in good company.

See the end of “Negro” and the rise of “black” or “African-American,” the end of “retarded” and the rise of “developmentally disabled,” the end of “handicapped” and the rise of “people with disabilities.”

Here’s a simple test of whether Redskin passes muster: Would you use the term in referring to Native Americans in anything other than a derogatory way?

Apparently, though, the newspaper won’t yet be extending its ban to the Cleveland Indians’ mascot, which many people find to be an offensive depiction.

Here is an example of what might have been an earlier incarnation of The Daily News’ version of the Redskins’ logo. Note the “Washington” denotation above the logo, which none of the other logos pictured have.

And while we’re on the topic, it appears that longtime D.C. media presence Tom Sherwood is also eschewing the name.

This former editor and part-time writer at The Post is now happy to prove that if you combine 'blowhard' and 'blaggard,' you get 'blogger.' He previously had used 'Desmond Bieler' as his byline, but feels that shortening the first name to 'Des' nicely conveys his ever-decreasing gravitas. He also covers Fantasy Football.
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