SEATTLE - Native Americans and their supporters are applauding a local newspaper's decision to drop the word "Redskins" from its sports coverage.
Seattle Times sports editor Don Shelton writes, "It's time to ban the absurd, offensive and outdated name of the NFL team in Washington DC."
The Times made the decision in response to the ongoing pressure on Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the nickname. Snyder has repeatedly refused.
University of Washington football legend Sonny Sixkiller is pleased with the Times' decision.
"I think it's a great step, and I think nationally people are going to pick up on that and follow suit," Sixkiller tells KOMO Newsradio.
Sixkiller is a member of the Cherokee Nation.
Jim Browder, co-founder of "Northwest Indian News," tells KOMO Newsradio he is grateful, saying the Times decision could not have been an easy one.
"In Indian country they say 'my hands go up,' which means I applaud you," Browder says. "And so, thanks, Seattle Times."
Of the hundreds of comments on the Times web site, not all are complimentary. One reader calls the decision "idiotic and inconsequential." Another says "'Redskins' isn't offensive. Banning the word is bullying and offensive."
The Times is not the first Northwest newspaper to drop the word "Redskins." The Oregonian of Portland made that call in the 1990s. The Kansas City Star and Orange County Register also ban the word.
Shelton writes the Times will continue to print the nickname in stories that cover the controversy.