Scrabble Players Group Removes Racial, Ethnic Slurs From Tournament Word List
More than 200 words have been stripped from official competition lexicon
In a move that pitted the executive team against an advisory board and a segment of the membership, the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) has chosen to eliminate 200-plus racial and ethnic slurs from its official play list.
John Chew, NASPA’s CEO, said that despite internal debate, it is the right time for the move. “It’s time to get rid of language that, if used at a Scrabble tournament—if it wasn’t on the board—would get you kicked out,” he said, noting the organization’s code of conduct prohibits discrimination.
The official word list, or lexicon, is what NASPA uses to determine eligible words at tournaments. While the Scrabble Dictionary is well-known to the public, it is a separate product owned by Hasbro and does not include slurs. Chew said a common attitude among some NASPA members is that words in Scrabble have no meaning, that they are just tiles to be played for points, and people should not get upset when words are played.
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