A Few are Making a Stand

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
6. Washington
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.

4 thoughts on “A Few are Making a Stand

  1. Gregg Easterbrook, formerly one of my favorite columnists at ESPN with his weekly “Tuesday Morning Quarterback”, was was ahead of the curve; years ago he called the team “The Potomac Drainage basin Indigenous Persons”, which I liked, or Washington R***ins (or something like that), which I didn’t. “**” may obscure the word, but the reader fills in the blanks, and the slur is still transmitted.

    Easterbrook bounced to the New York Times for a season or two, but as far as I can tell, is now quiet on his themes of “Punting is Bad” and “Washington DC is a giant money cesspool and if we eliminated corruption we’d all be fine.” Tuesdays have never been the same.

  2. i don’t understand why it’s so hard to just not do a thing that pisses a large amount of people off.

    like……… at all

    “this is a thing that makes us really angry and sad on a daily basis
    plz don’t do that thing”


    d o n e?????? ? ?

  3. Yesterday I sent an email to theundefeated.com, an excellent site for sports fans, written with a strong minority voice. It read:

    First, as an older white guy I find almost everything I read on your site to be eye-opening. So thanks for that. However, I’m a little surprised to see the word “Redskin” used on your pages. You could choose not to. You SHOULD choose not to. In the rare cases where “Washington” is ambiguous, you can just be more descriptive.

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