Racial and Ethnic Slurs Get Axed From Scrabble’s Official Tournament Word List

Words matter. Especially when you’re playing Scrabble. But if you thought you were going to beat all your word nerd friends by using racial or ethnic slurs to nab that triple word score on the popular board game, 1) you’re an A-hole who doesn’t deserve friends and 2) those days are gone.

That’s because the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) has banned certain offensive terms from its official word list, which dictates what’s fair game during tournaments. The decision to 86 certain words was made based on a poll of more than 1,000 NASPA members.

“Some members threatened to leave the association if a single word were removed; others threatened to leave the association if any offensive words remained. There were a lot of good and bad arguments on both sides,” said NASPA CEO John Chew in a statement (that really doesn’t say much at all).

Hasbro Gaming, which owns Scrabble, had a more woke stance, saying the company “is rooted in community and bringing people together, and we are committed to providing an experience that is inclusive and enjoyable for all.”

Recognizing that language can be used as a weapon against already marginalized groups and refusing to allow it is a small step, but it’s something. Now if only we could teach our president to clean up his language.

Cover Photo: Smith Collection/Gado / Contributor (Getty Images)

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