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Washington Post editorial board renews call for Washington name change

The Washington Redskins are among a number of NFL teams observing Juneteenth for the first time, but the team's controversial name remains.

Earlier this week, Barry Svrluga of the Washington Post called on the local NFL team to change its name. On Friday, the Washington Post editorial board renewed its position that the time has long since come for the dictionary-defined slur to be ditched.

“Over the years, there have been many calls for the team to jettison its name because it is a slur that denigrates and disrespects Native Americans,” the newspaper’s editorial board explains. “Throughout, Mr. [Daniel] Snyder has been dismissive, if not downright contemptuous. ‘NEVER -- you can use caps” he famously told USA Today in 2013 when he was asked about changing the name. But the breadth and intensity of the demands for an end to racial injustice that have gripped the country as the result of Mr. [George] Floyd’s tragic death put a new edge to the debate and the demand for change. . . . He also must know it is wrong for a team to have a name that the dictionary defines as a racial slur and that no one would ever use to address a person who is a Native American.”

The Washington Post is correct, but the it continues to overlook its own role in emboldening Snyder’s positions. A flawed 2016 Post poll continues to be the knee-jerk reaction whenever the team is confronted with the question of whether its racial slur of a name should be changed.

So if the Post truly wants to lay the foundation for change, it should admit that its past polling should be ignored, because it continues to be the first thing Snyder and other team employees cite when faced with the reality that the name of the team constitutes a textbook racial slur and should be abandoned.