An opinion piece regarding the controversy over the name “Redskins” won a Grand Award from the DC area-based Communications Concepts through its 2014 Awards for Publication Excellence competition.
Clifton Barnes of CapitalSportsNC.com wrote the article which won the Grand Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by the group.
Barnes, a native of Rocky Mount who has lived in Cary since 1996, is a UNC-Chapel Hill journalism and political science grad.
The column, which was an open letter to the Washington, D.C. Council, addressed the issue of the NFL football team name “Redskins” prior to a council discussion about possible actions against the team.
Barnes urged the council to take no action. “If this sort of thing is successful, one day a small group of people will change something that you cherish based on false assumptions and political correctness to satisfy those who believe we have a right to never be offended.”
The council members, who each received a copy of the letter, took no action.
Judges wrote, “It takes a certain amount of ‘grit’ to go against the prevailing, politically correct view, but this writer does so with a well researched, well reasoned and compellingly written editorial. Bravo!”
The editorial appears online on Barnes’ sports website CapitalSportsNC.com, which won an Award of Excellence last year. Barnes started the site in order to provide a one-stop site for those interested in sports in the Triangle NC area. Articles from all the top media outlets and sports teams in the Raleigh/Durham/Chapel Hill area are featured along with videos, tweets and original sports commentary.
The winning entry can be accessed at http://capitalsportsnc.com/?p=6282.
John De Lellis of Communications Concepts says competition was intense as there were nearly 2,100 entries with only 100 of them winning Grand Awards in various categories. Barnes was one of only two winners in the category.
Barnes, who has won more than 70 journalism awards, served as director of communications for the N.C. Bar Association from 1987 to 2002 and, before that, was a newspaper writer and editor.
Today he is a freelance writer, editor and Web developer who owns several websites including cb3media.com and TarHeelFavorites.com, which will launch later in 2014. Barnes is also credited with the idea for the Town of Cary’s Hometown Spirit Award, given each year since 2009 to honor those who promote small town values.
Along with his wife Andrea, he raises their eight-year-old son Will Griffin. Barnes is the son of W.C. and Lorraine Barnes, formerly of Rocky Mount, who now live in Atlantic Beach, NC.