Redskins face ever-increasing pressure over name as NFL season begins

Groundskeepers prepare FedEx Field in Landover, Md., for a preseason game between the Washington Redskins and the New England Patriots last month.
(Alex Brandon / Associated Press)

One of the biggest stories of the NFL off-season doesn’t appear to be going away now that the real games are finally starting.

And Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder can’t be pleased about that.

The team name that he has vowed to never change continues to come under fire, as the Change the Name campaign sent a letter to TV and radio broadcasters throughout the U.S. on Wednesday urging them not to use the word “Redskins” on the air.

In addition, the New York Daily News announced the same day that it will no longer use the word or the team logo on its sports pages. The Washington Post editorial board, which is separate from that paper’s newsgathering departments, made a similar announcement last month.


“Enormously popular and deeply ingrained in sporting culture, the Redskins name is a throwback to a vanished era of perniciously casual racial attitudes,” the Daily News said in an editorial. “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.”

It added: “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.”

According to the letter sent Wednesday by Change the Mascot, which is headed by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, “dozens of ... media organizations” -- including the Boston Globe, Denver Post and Pittsburgh Post-Gazette -- have made similar decisions.

CBS and Fox have said they will allow their announcers to decide whether or not they use the term to describe the team. CBS’ Phil Simms and NBC’s Tony Dungy have both expressed a reluctance to continue using the name.

Twitter: @chewkiii