Leaders of the Scrabble tournament community in North America are voting on whether to ban the use of racial and homophobic slurs.
The vote will decide whether the words will be removed from the North American Scrabble Players Association (NASPA) list of accepted words.
The game, sold by Hasbro, which owns the rights to Scrabble in North America, has not included the slurs in its dictionary since 1994, however, the players association continued to allow them as they are “part of the English language”.
The offensive words have been separated into seven categories – “slur”, “anatomical”, “political”, “profane”, “prurient”, “scatological”, and “vulgar”.
The “n-word” and other racial epithets are included on the list of words likely to be banned.
“Fatsoes”, “lesbos”, “Jews”, “baldie” and ageist terms like “greybeard” and “wrinklies” also feature, as does “haole”, a word used by Hawaiians for people not from the US state, and “culchie”, a pejorative term for someone from rural Ireland. Several transphobic words are also slated for removal.
The decision will likely impact online versions of the game too.
Officials who govern Scrabble tournaments in Britain are currently discussing whether to follow suit.
The debate comes amid anti-racism protests by the Black Lives Matter movement, following the death of George Floyd at the hands of white police officers in Minneapolis in May.