They haven't announced anything in an official fashion, but TheMMQB.com's Robert Klemko said in a radio interview Thursday that the Peter King's new Sports Illustrated NFL microsite will no longer be referring to Washington's professional football team as the "Redskins."
"I know that our site, we’ve talked about it, and we’re not going to use Redskins in our writing," Klemko said on CBS Sports Radio’s MoJo with Chris Moore and Brian Jones. "We’re going to say ‘Washington football team.' And it’s not something we’re going to publicize or write about. We’re just not going to do it."
If indeed that is implemented, it's probably only a matter of time before other mainstream sports sites like King's began to adopt such policies, regardless of how informal they are. The name, which is blatantly racist and has always been somewhat controversial, has become a lightning rod of late, with local politicians, respected NFL executives and even members of congress urging the team to get with the times and consider making a change.
Earlier this month, Slate announced that it was discontinuing use of the name in its publication, and ESPN's Rob King refused to use the name in a Q&A we posted earlier this week. The comments reacting to this piece I wrote in January indicate the fans are typically on the other side of this argument. It's hard to find anyone in the media willing to support the name, but team owner Daniel Snyder won't budge.
That could eventually change, though, if the businesses that support Snyder and his team begin to reconsider their investments based on the fact the players wear an epithet on their jerseys. Media embargoes like the one The MMQB is apparently adopting could begin to set those wheels in motion.