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Another Vast Majority Opposes Idea Of Washington Redskins Changing Their Name

Washington-Redskins

A new poll shows that the vast majority of Americans oppose the idea of the Washington Redskins changing their team name:

Republicans are much more likely than Democrats to say the Washington Redskins do not need to change their name, according to a new poll.

A full 90 percent of Republicans surveyed by Public Policy Polling said a name change is unnecessary. A majority of Democrats, 59 percent, also agreed the football team does not need to change its name — leaving a 31 percent gap between the parties.

Sixty-five percent of independents also said the team does not need to change its name.

Overall, the poll found 71 percent of people do not think the Redskins should change their name, while 18 percent of people believe the team should.

(…)

According to the Democratic-affiliated poll, 31 percent of Democrats and 16 percent of independents think the team should change its name. Only 4 percent of Republicans feel the same.

Another 11 percent of Democrats and 18 percent of independents said they are not sure about a name change; six percent of Republicans said they are unsure.

There has been little polling about the issue in years past. An Associated Press-GfK poll commissioned last May found 79 percent of people overall opposed a name change, while only 11 percent thought the name should be changed. Another 10 percent were not sure or did not answer the question.

As I’ve said in the past, the ownership of the Redskins will change the team name when they consider it to be in the business interests of the team to do so. Given poll numbers like this, which are consistent with those in the past and I would imagine are consistent with private polling that the team has no doubt had performed on the issue, I’d suggest that efforts by a relatively small group of Native Americans, which based on many reports doesn’t represent Native Americans as a whole, aren’t going to get far at all no matter how much noise they make.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. Senyordave says:

    I can’t find a definition that doesn’t specifically refer to the term as offensive or a pejorative. Would we be having a discussion if the name was the Washington hebes or niggers or micks, etc.?

    red·skin/ˈrɛdˌskɪn/ Show Spelled [red-skin] Show IPA
    noun Slang: Often Disparaging and Offensive.
    a North American Indian.

    ——————————————————————————–

    Origin:
    1690–1700, Americanism; red1 + skin

    red·skin (rdskn)
    n. Offensive Slang
    Used as a disparaging term for a Native American.

    Noun 1. Redskin – offensive terms for Native Americans
    Synonyms: Injun, red man

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  2. al-Ameda says:

    A full 90 percent of Republicans surveyed by Public Policy Polling said a name change is unnecessary.

    LOL

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  3. Moosebreath says:

    “Another Vast Majority Opposes Idea Of Washington Redskins Changing Their Name”

    The concept that a self-proclaimed Libertarian is in favor of deciding whether something is objectionable to a minority based upon majority support for the opposing view. Priceless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  4. mantis says:

    @Moosebreath:

    The concept that a self-proclaimed Libertarian is in favor of deciding whether something is objectionable to a minority based upon majority support for the opposing view. Priceless.

    To be fair, it doesn’t seem that Doug is explicitly in favor or against.

    For myself, I wouldn’t give such a hatefully-named organization a dime for any reason. But disgusting assholes are free to name their organizations whatever they please. I just wish someone would start a team called the White Devils or The Honkeys. Then we’d see how much the majority is really interested in freedom and political correctness.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 2

  5. PJ says:

    Did the survey also ask if the New York Kikes should have to change its name?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  6. Andre Kenji says:

    @Senyordave:

    I can’t find a definition that doesn’t specifically refer to the term as offensive or a pejorative.

    Even seemly innocent ways to refer to minorities can sound offensive. And they surely will.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  7. Andre Kenji says:

    @mantis: Washington Rednecks or Washington White Trash.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  8. ernieyeball says:

    I suggest the Redskins change their name to honor the tribe that lived just outside Fort Courage on the 60′s TV show F Troop.
    The Washington Hekawis.

    The tribe supposedly derived their name from an incident in which the tribe became lost mid-migration. After wandering the plains for weeks and falling off a cliff, one of the braves asks “Where the heck are we?”, which then became “We’re the Hekawi” (the original name for the tribe, ‘Fugawi’, was changed after the censors discovered the sentence “Where the Fugawi?”).
    WikiP

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. Pinky says:

    I’d think that a name change would be great for profits. Pretty much any time a team changes colors, its merchandise sales go through the roof. If you change the name and the logo, then every fan has to replace his merchandise.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  10. Gustopher says:

    How about the Washington Ethnic Slurs?

    Are there any Native Americans on the team? There really should be a minimum required content for ethnic-named teams. Maybe one member of the named race or ethnic group playing on the field at all times (no mascots, no cheerleaders, an actual player)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  11. al-Ameda says:

    Why not the Red Inks?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  12. Rafer Janders says:

    Given poll numbers like this, which are consistent with those in the past and I would imagine are consistent with private polling that the team has no doubt had performed on the issue, I’d suggest that efforts by a relatively small group of Native Americans, which based on many reports doesn’t represent Native Americans as a whole, aren’t going to get far at all no matter how much noise they make.

    Doug ten years ago: Given poll numbers like this, which are consistent with those in the past and I would imagine are consistent with private polling that has no doubt been performed on the issue, I’d suggest that efforts by a relatively small group of gay marriage advocates, which based on many reports doesn’t represent gay and lesbians as a whole, aren’t going to get far at all no matter how much noise they make.

    Doug 50 years ago: Given poll numbers like this, which are consistent with those in the past and I would imagine are consistent with private polling that has no doubt been performed on the issue, I’d suggest that efforts by a relatively small group of inter-racial marriage advocates, which based on many reports doesn’t represent Negroes as a whole, aren’t going to get far at all no matter how much noise they make.

    Doug 200 years ago: Given poll numbers like this, which are consistent with those in the past and I would imagine are consistent with private polling that has no doubt been performed on the issue if such a thing as public polling actually existed, I’d suggest that efforts by a relatively small group of abolitionists, which based on many reports doesn’t represent slaves as a whole, aren’t going to get far at all no matter how much noise they make.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  13. stonetools says:

    Polls showing 90 per cent of people favor background checks for guns. Doug:

    Majority opinion should not and will not decide this issue

    Polls showing a majority favor Redskins keeping their name. Doug:

    Majority opinion will decide this issue

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  14. Tyrell says:

    One name change that might be agreeable to everyone and should offend no one would be “Warriors”. It does not necessarily represent Native Americans, but is a wide ranging symbol. It also fits well into the Redskins fight song, the most famous and most popular sports song ever.
    The main priority with everyone is that the owner put a winning team on the field and bring the Super Bowl trophy back to Washington. That is what most of the fans want.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  15. al-Ameda says:

    @Tyrell:

    One name change that might be agreeable to everyone and should offend no one would be “Warriors”.

    I agree completely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  16. Andre Kenji says:

    @Gustopher:

    Are there any Native Americans on the team?

    I do agree with ernieyeball. They should license the name of a certain tribe. It would be EXTREMELY cool to see REAL INDIANS during their games.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  17. superdestroyer says:

    @Moosebreath:

    Are you really going to propose that if a minority finds something objectionable when used by others, then it should be banned. Do you really want to give minority groups veto power.

    Also, when is the campaign to renames Utah and Illinois going to start?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 2

  18. Rick F. says:

    @Andre Kenji: Yep, seeing Mark Rypien play was cool!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  19. Fred says:

    @Andre Kenji: A reminder what “defined in the dictionary” means. It is not an individual opinion, but represents how a word has actually been used by authors for decades; in this case redskin was so often used in the context of Native Americans being a savage, primitive enemy that the word became a pejorative in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. This is exactly when the team was named in 1932, so its being an “honor” is pure nonsense.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  20. Fred says:

    @superdestroyer:
    There are many place names that represent the existence of the original inhabitants with some dignity. How can this be compared with the use of a racial slur to refer to Native Americans in the context of an entertainment?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  21. rachel says:

    @Tyrell: Plus “The Washington Warriors” has a nicely alliterative sound to it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  22. bill says:

    @al-Ameda: or get closer to the real indians- diabetic alcoholic welfare kings!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 6

  23. ernieyeball says:

    @bill: You are just a sick fuk and I mean it sincerely.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 9 Thumb down 0

  24. ernieyeball says:

    Washington Warriors…Maybe.
    The National Basketball Association franchise in DC was once the Washington Bulletts until 1997.

    In 1995, owner Abe Pollin announced he was changing the team’s name because Bullets had acquired violent overtones that had made him increasingly uncomfortable over the years, particularly given the high homicide and crime rate in the early 1990s in Washington, D.C. The final straw was the assassination of his longtime friend, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. A contest was held to choose a new name and the choices were narrowed to the Dragons, Express, Stallions, Sea Dogs, or Wizards. On May 15, 1997, the Bullets officially became the Washington Wizards.

    This was as noted the owners choice…but sometime you can’t win for losin’.

    The change generated some controversy because Washington is a predominantly African-American city and Wizard is a rank in the Ku Klux Klan.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  25. superdestroyer says:

    @Fred:

    The NCAA gave local Indian tribes veto power over the use of native American names as mascots, thus, giving indian tribes veto power over the use of their tribal names. If it was insulting to have the fighting Sioux at the University of North Dakota http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/University_of_North_Dakota_athletics

    Of course, what North Dakota should have done is change the name of the state to remove any refence to Native Americans so that the feelings of Native Americans would not be hurt.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  26. Pinky says:

    @ernieyeball: I remember Paul Harvey saying that the Washington Bullets were changing their name because they didn’t want to be associated with crime, and now they were going to be called the Bullets.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  27. Pinky says:

    @Fred: But team names are typically not meant to be derogatory. They’re tough. Steelers, Vikings, Bears. “Redskin” may have had a derogatory meaning, but the name was chosen because it implied toughness. So it’s not derogatory in that context.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  28. al-Ameda says:

    @bill:

    @al-Ameda: or get closer to the real indians- diabetic alcoholic welfare kings!

    I was thinking, “Custer Busters”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  29. Moosebreath says:

    @superdestroyer:

    “Are you really going to propose that if a minority finds something objectionable when used by others, then it should be banned. Do you really want to give minority groups veto power.”

    I am not saying I would, but I am not a Libertarian. Is it not part of the Libertarian credo that the question of whether something is objectionable is not to be settled by a majority vote?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  30. SKI says:

    @Pinky: actually it was chosen to make money off the implied association with the baseball team it shared a field with – the Bostson Braves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  31. Tyrell says:

    @superdestroyer: That is a major point. No matter the name, someone will claim they are offended. Even some of these so-called animal rights groups want animal names dropped – says it trivializes and demeans animals. Colors? Problems there too. Strange that I don’t hear any problems with the Cincinnaty Reds. Maybe they could name them after shapes or minerals. Here are some team names that could be offensive: Vikings, Fighting Irish, Blackhawks, Padres, Patriots, Padres, Saints, Buccaneers, Pirates, Rangers. You can probably name more.
    We live in an age in which a small number of people pitch a fit and hollar they are offended, whether by a team name, some tv personality’s statements, or a Christmas scene in public. Then everyone has to change because of them, with the inevitable lawsuits! .Political correctness over all. Freedom of speech – out.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  32. mantis says:

    @Tyrell:

    Strange that I don’t hear any problems with the Cincinnaty Reds.

    Reds comes from “Red Stockings,” a previous Cincinnati club.

    Political correctness over all. Freedom of speech – out.</i.

    Do you really think the 1st Amendment protects you from people complaining? You really don't get it, do you?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  33. Tyrell says:

    @ernieyeball: The Redskins owner probably loves these types of issues because it diverts attention from the most important concern: bringing a winning tradition back to Washington and winning the championship. The Redskin fans are long suffering and deserve better.
    “Hail to the Redskins, fight for old D.C.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0