No matter how badly Dan Snyder wants it to, the controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins’ team name is not going away any time soon.
Earlier this week, Green Bay Packers president and CEO Mark Murphy called the moniker “derogatory to a lot of people,” implying the name should be changed. However, that isn’t the only place from which Snyder is feeling pressure.
Last Thursday, the popular online magazine Slate announced that it was refusing to use the Redskins’ name going forward, considering it a pejorative term that has no place in modern lexicon. Later that same day, The New Republic editor Franklin Foer said that his publication would be following suit, praising Slate for making the case. Lastly, a day later, Mother Jones announced that it would be doing the same, writing “we will refer to the team online and in print as ‘Washington’ or ‘Washington’s pro football team’ or, if we get sassy, ‘the Washington [Redacted].’”
As Slate noted in its announcement, The Washington Post and ESPN — the two entities that could put legitimate pressure on Snyder to change the name — still refer to the team as Redskins. The cynical interpretation of these moves is that they’re simply three left-leaning publications congratulating each other on their progressiveness.
However, another interpretation is that this is a further sign that Snyder is ultimately losing the public relations battle, and will likely have to change the name sooner or later.