We’re a national, general-interest magazine, not the Washington Post or ESPN. Our coverage is sporadic, and I doubt that Dan Snyder or Roger Goodell have Google alerts for our NFL stories. When we stop using the name Redskins, hardly anyone will notice. But it will also represent no great sacrifice for us to stop using the word—it’s easy enough to substitute “Washington” or “Washington’s NFL team.” (To be clear, though we’re striking the word from our vocabulary, we will not bowdlerize quotes—if a public official utters the nickname in a newsworthy speech, we will not strike the word Redskins.)
Changing how you talk changes how you think. The adoption of the term “African-American”—replacing “Negro” and “colored”—in the aftermath of the civil rights movement brought a welcome symmetry with Italian-Americans and Irish-Americans, groups defined by geographic origin rather than by race or color. Replacing “same-sex marriage” with “marriage equality” helped make gay marriage a universal cause rather than a special pleading. If Slate can do a small part to change the way people talk about the team, that will be enough.
As the article and Colorlines points out, Slate is owned by the Washington Post.
As expected, most of the comments are horrible.