The boycott of the Washington Redskins nickname is growing. At first it was the Washington City Paper. Then non-sports outlets like Mother Jones and Slate. Now, a pair of the nation's most read and most influential sportswriters are banishing "Redskins" from their writing.
First, SI's Peter King announced in a column that he was choosing to move forward without the nickname. (It was earlier insinuated by MMQB writer Robert Klemko that the website as a whole would not use the "Redskins" nickname but King said it will be up to each individual staffer.)
Second, and just as significant, Grantland emperor Bill Simmons is also jettisoning the Washington Redskins in favor of the "Washington D.C.'s." There was no announcement or explanation from Simmons. Rather, this paragraph in his NFC power rankings that labeled the team with his own nickname:
This is no longer just a grass roots movement or something that can be brushed aside by Dan Snyder or Redskins fans as the PC police run amok. This movement has now firmly taken hold in the mainstream sporting culture. That one of America's top football writers (King) and America's most influential sports personalities (Simmons) would make this decision will prove to be a seminal moment.
King and Simmons have over 3 million Twitter followers between them. Now that they've taken this step, many others currently on the fence will feel comfortable following suit. This initiative isn't slowing down anytime soon. More and more sportswriters around America will refuse to use the Redskins nickname as the season progresses now that King and Simmons are on board. What happens when other ESPN, or SI, or Fox personalities make the same decision? What happens when a SportsCenter anchor refuses to say "Redskins" during an NFL highlight? It's inevitable. Once a critical mass is reached, Roger Goodell will step in and say enough is enough and the "Redskins" will be no more.
The decision by King and Simmons makes it clear – we're in the final days of the Washington Redskins as we know it. The change will happen, it's just a matter of when the resistance decides to stop fighting a losing battle. As "Redskins" gradually disappears from the mainstream sporting culture, sooner or later the nickname won't be worth the negativity attached to it.