The Washington Business Journal has banned the use of the “offensive” Redskins name in its publication because it feels that the media must be “agents for change.”
“We cannot allow the slur to continue to appear in our editorial content,” Editor-in-Chief Douglas Fruehling wrote on Friday. “We will refer to the organization as the Washington NFL or football team.”
He said though “we realize our decision will upset some of our readers,” there is “a problem with” the argument that “it’s not the media’s role to take sides.”
“The media have always been agents for change, for progress and for enlightenment. We have never stood by and watched injustice or prejudice be allowed to stand — and we shouldn’t continue to publish a racial slur that is extremely offensive to many people,” Fruehling continued. “We don’t tolerate other slurs in our content; there is no reason to print this one just because it is the name of a team.”
He noted the publication’s “top four newsroom leaders” and publisher, Alex Orfinger, agree with the move after having had some discussions in the newsroom.
The publication joins those like the Kansas City Star, Slate, Seattle Times, Washington City Paper, Mother Jones, and New Republic and others in refusing to publish the team’s name even though some of their readers may not agree.
A recent poll found that 65% of D.C.-area residents do not want a name change while 56% would not purchase merchandise if the team changed its name. Another unscientific online poll found that 68% of readers do not want publications to stop using “Redskins.”