Time to Retire the R-Word


Mother Jones has joined the ranks of publications that refuse to utter the name of Washington DC’s pro football team. In fact, that’s now what our style guide calls them: “Washington’s pro football team.” Personally, I’d prefer the Victorian era affectation of using initials. I never quite understood why old novels were littered with things like Mr. K—- or Bishop M—–, but why not make use of it anyway? We could refer to Washington’s pro football team as the R—–s. This has the added advantage of automatically giving it the veneer of vulgarity. Dan Snyder’s team would be the R-word, to go along with the N-word and the C-word and all the others.

But here’s a question: Is there a similar movement afoot to change the name of Cleveland’s pro baseball team and Atlanta’s pro baseball team? It’s true that the I-word and the B-word are less offensive than the R-word, but on the other hand, the team logo in Cleveland sure beats Washington for offensiveness. And that hatchet thing in Atlanta is just plain annoying. I know that both those teams have taken some heat for their names, but not as much as Washington. Anyone know if that’s changing?

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

Dear Reader,

This feels like the most important fundraising drive since I've been CEO of Mother Jones, with staggeringly high stakes and so much uncertainty. In "News Is Just Like Waste Management," I try to unpack the reality we all face and how we can rise to the challenge. If you're able to, this is a critical moment to support Mother Jones’ nonprofit journalism: We need to raise $400,000 to help cover the vital reporting projects we have planned, and right now is no time to pull back.

Monika Bauerlein, CEO, Mother Jones

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate