Scrabble to ban slurs, other offensive words from official tournaments

Lawrence Kim
July 12, 2020

Leaders of the Scrabble tournament community in North America are voting on whether to ban the use of racial and homophobic slurs.

The NASPA's permitted word list is different from the official Scrabble Merriam-Webster dictionary, which has removed offensive words throughout the years, according to John Chew, the association's CEO, and in recent weeks, he received calls from players to remove words such as the n-word and c-word from official play.

The NASPA manages competitive Scrabble tournaments and clubs in North America.

The decision is due after weeks of anti-racism protests in the USA and around the world.

Hasbro, which owns the rights to the board game, and North American Scrabble Players Association announced that it will ban slurs and other offensive epitaphs from official North American tournaments.

The study requested respondents no matter whether they wanted the "N-term", or all slurs, or all offensive text taken out from the association's vocabulary. Somehow, we have all managed to set that all aside when we meet over Scrabble boards.

The removal of any words could affect online versions of the game with Mashable reporting the NASPA licenses a list of its words to developers.

A Missouri woman asked Merriam Webster to update her definition of racism and now officials will make the change
Scrabble to ban slurs, other offensive words from official tournaments

"I have felt for a long time that there are some words in our lexicon that we hang onto in the mistaken belief that our spelling them with tiles on a board strips them of their power to cause harm", Chew said.

Why were slurs allowed in the game?

"I really don't assume that this is the time for us to be contributing divisively to the world's issues".

Mr Chew told Reuters news agency that he was concerned persons were being put off from signing up for the association because of to offensive language in the association's dictionary.

About 1,000 people took part in the association's poll on whether to remove the words, he said.

Chew mentioned he loves Scrabble for the reason that it provides all varieties of diverse people today together, but explained they need to do far more to be far more inclusive. Chew said in the statement.

When was the last time you played Scrabble? The association decided not to remove some slurs from adult competition because there was a debate about removing words such as poo and fart, which could be offensive to certain players.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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