Somebody wrote to 2paragraphs asking why we used a racial slur in our headline about the NFL team from Washington, DC. We’re not surprised. We’ve been closely following the controversy about Redskins. How team owner Dan Snyder says you’ll have to pry the team name from his cold, dead hand–wait that was Charleton Heston talking about guns, but you get the picture. We gave an honest answer to the query: we use the term Redskins in our headlines because of Google.
See, they can make all the laws they want against using “Redskins.” They can drop the trademark protection and NFL announcers on TV can curtail referring to the team as the Redskins. But until the controversial team name is no longer the main Google search term for the NFL franchise from Washington, writers will keep using it–because writers want people to read what they’re writing. And people search for Redskins, not Washington NFL Franchise, and Google delivers the results. And even if you happen to search for “washington dc nfl franchise” the first natural result in the search is a Wikipedia entry for, yup, “Washington Redskins.” The second result is the “Official Site of the Washington Redskins.” Example below.