A few days ago I was reading an article by Bill Barnwell over at ESPN. Barnwell writes long, data-driven articles about sports (mostly football), and he has the ability to make what is often very dry subject material interesting. In this case, he caught my attention for something that wasn’t there.
This article was something like Blah Blah Blah NFL’s 10 Worst Teams. What he said about each team doesn’t matter for this episode; what matters is the list itself.
10. Denver Broncos
9. Detroit Lions
8. Buffalo Bills
7. Oakland Raiders
5. New York Giants
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
3. Cincinnati Bengals
2. Miami Dolphins
1. Arizona Cardinals
Don’t see it? Look at number 6 again.
When I noticed that, I dared hope for a moment that ESPN had decided as a powerful media company to simply not use an offensive racial slur on their site.
Nope. The r-word is still all over the place. But at least Bill Barnwell has made the choice to never utter it. If enough of his colleagues do as well, maybe something will change.