Scrabble officially bans racial slurs – and competitive players are furious

Scrabble players have been left furious at the new rules that ban the use of racially offensive slurs.

Competitive players have dubbed the new rules as 'misguided social manipulation' after the game owner changed the rules.

Mattel, which owns the rights to the game outside North America, has been accused of bowing down to political correctness by removing a list of 400 derogatory terms.

The company has refused to publish the list but the official word checker shows that the banned terms include epithets against black, Pakistani and Irish people as they believe the terms have no place in a family game.

The change follows a similar move by the American rights owner Hasbro and affects competition-level Scrabble, which is played by thousands of people at international tournaments.

Three prominent members of the World English-Language Scrabble Players Association (Wespa) have quite the competitive games in protest as they don't believe playing the word is offensive.

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Darryl Francis, a British author who has overseen official Scrabble word lists since the 1980s, resigned because he said that Mattel had forced the changes upon players.

"Words listed in dictionaries and Scrabble lists are not slurs," Francis said in the Times.

"They only become slurs when used with a derogatory purpose or intent, or used with a particular tone and in a particular context.

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"Words in our familiar Scrabble word lists should not be removed because of a PR purpose disguised as promoting some kind of social betterment."

Mattel said that its intervention, which is the first time it has sought to remove words, was political.

Ray Adler, the global head of games, said that it was a direct result of the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

Karen Richards, a Wespa committee member who helped to run the World Youth Scrabble Championship for 15 years, denied that the change would make the game more family-friendly as she claims children could still play other offensive words.

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