The Most Ridiculous Result From That WaPo ‘Redskins’ Poll

The Washington Post polled 1,106 D.C.-area residents about the Washington football team’s nickname, and the big takeaways are “61 percent [of Washingtonians] say they like the team’s name” and “among those who want to keep the Redskins’ name, 56 percent say they feel the word ‘redskin’ is inappropriate.”

That first result is predictable, and the second is pure comedy, though Chris Chase explains it away as pure apathy. (“This isn’t a big deal to most people.” Fair enough.)

Another common-sense result was “around 8 in 10 Redskins fans and non-fans alike say changing the name would not affect their support for the team.” That sounds about right, but the flip side is:

“Among avid sports fans who have strongly favorable impressions of the Redskins, 15 percent say they would be less of a fan of the team if it were to change its name.”

Really?! These people would “be less of a fan” if the Redskins became the Skins (short for Pigskins) or the Warriors or the Hogs or whatever. These 15 percent — or approximately 166 people — would “be less of a fan” if the name of their preferred sports team was no longer an “inappropriate way to describe a Native American Indian.” They’d stop sympathizing with Larry Michael and Dan Snyder, or whatever it is knuckle-dragging Redskins fans do, which is fine, because those in this sub-set are the worst fans of anything anywhere.

Of course, you could literally change the name to the Washington Whatevers and I’d root for them the same. I just don’t want my team’s name to be described by the dictionary as “usually offensive.” But there’s no winning this argument. It’ll just be over one day.

(Reminder: We have a Washington “Football Team” shirt for some of you.)

20 thoughts on “The Most Ridiculous Result From That WaPo ‘Redskins’ Poll”

  1. This name changing thing has run its course.. Change it.. If you’re less of a fan because of the name, we don’t need you.

    I can see the opposing side of the argument. I think that saying ni**er or ch**k is certainly more offensive then redskin. Particularly because i’ve never heard someone use redskin in a derogatory way.

    I’ll tell you what is offensive, is putting a little santa hat on top of the head of the indian cheif that is the redskins logo during christmas time.

  2. Tony, don’t worry, people will start using “redskin” in a derogatory term soon now that we talk about it so much and give that word it’s teeth back.

  3. I’m not making excuses for anyone and I’m not saying I know why, but if the Redskins change their name to the monuments or the senators or the pride or some crap, I’m not buying those t-shirts or hats or anything, at least not for some time.

    I’d imagine it would be similar to rooting for the Bullets: once they changed to the Wizards, I would have still worn my Bullets gear until it fell apart.

    Certainly buying less of a team’s merchandise could be considered being “less of a fan,” which is ironic, because you ignorantly assume that everyone who wants to keep the name Redskins is automatically “sympathizing with Larry Michael and Dan Snyder,” two individuals who directly profit from future sales of merchandise.

    I will never sympathize with Larry Michael and Dan Snyder. I also hope my team doesn’t change their name.

  4. Some people stopped liking the Bullets because they became the Wizards or so they say. Comments sections are a wealth of statistically significant sampling! As is the experience of going to Vienna schools for my entire public school career and not remembering a single piece of Bullets merch.

  5. Do you guys think the posts on the Skins name have reached the point where readers who generally agree with you are tired of it? I think you said it best yourself. There is no winning this argument, so I don’t understand the inordinate amount of attention Mr. Irrelevant is giving it. The Nats and Orioles are in midseason, both still in contention (sort of), and are both brimming with interesting personalities to write about. And please don’t respond with “if you don’t like it, don’t read.” I come here because I like the site (a lot), but the Skins drum has been beat to death. Until there is a development in the story (e.g., a name change, a court ruling), it is time to move on.

  6. I like the frequent blog posts about the name change because:
    A. It reminded me to buy one of the shirts, which I did, and will wear proudly.
    B. They linked to my blog post, which is fun for me on a personal level.

  7. ThisGuy, I never read the WaPo comments. I appreciate you all stopping by here, though.

    dingovb, I wasn’t calling all anti-namechangers knuckle-dragging Snyder sympathizers, I was calling anti-namechangers who would like the team less if they were to change the name knuckle-dragging Snyder sympathizers.

    WFY, the biggest reason the Wizards fanbase is down, if it is in fact down vs. when they were the Bullets, is that the team is a long-running joke of the NBA.

    Bullmoose, you may be right, but this site is a direct reflection of my interests as a sports fan, and I’m interested in the Redskins changing their name.

  8. If we change the name, doesn’t that open a whole can of worms? I mean Indiana means “land of Indians”, and isn’t “Indian” a slur? So wouldn’t we have to change it to “NativeAmericandiana”?

    And I as an Irish-American descendant find “Fighting Irish” to be an offensive stereotype! I’d much prefer “Logical Caucasians”.

    I don’t mean to be an asshat but if we keep going down this path can’t we find problems with just about everything? At the end of the day, it’s all just words.

  9. The slippery slope argument is always the best argument.

    What we do or don’t do about other potentially insensitive names shouldn’t affect doing the right thing in this specific case.

  10. “If we abolish slavery, doesn’t that open a whole can of worms? I mean, imagine black people having the right to vote or to marry white people. Or to play professional sports.
    I don’t mean to be an asshat, but if we keep going down this path, can’t we find problems with just about everything? At the end of the day, it’s all just race.”
    -Some white senator in the 1860’s

    Obviously the name of a football team is nowhere near as important as abolishing slavery, but sometimes a slippery slope is a good thing. Time for Skins fans to get on the right side of history.

  11. Not sure I can relate abolishing slavery to changing to name of a football team. I guess they both concern race, but really?

  12. If loving my team and its name purely for the memories I have and how awesome we are now makes me a knuckle dragging, ignoramus then as the poet Redman said, “I’ll be dat.” Personally, I think this is a morally charged, PC crusade headed by mostly Caucasian males who are out to prove that they are better than everyone else and to save face for a term that meant something totally different 60+ years ago. Maybe not. The term Redskins, to me, means Washington’s football team. Maybe that makes me insensitive or ignorant but when I rock my Redskins hat I’m proud of my team and the area it represents. Nothing more, nothing less. When they do eventually change the name it had better NOT be anything that Phil Jackson tweets because then I will think about turning in my card but only for a moment. I’m a fan because of guys like Art Monk, Darrell Green, Monte Coleman, London Fletcher, so on and so forth and I will always be a fan, no matter what. To me, it’s bigger than the name that the dictionary says is nasty. Maybe the dictionary should change the definition to “Washington’s Football Team”. Anyway, I like Mister I and the Bog and I’m in your house so write about anything you like. I hope we never change the name because I love the Washington Redskins and because Washington Skins, Whigs, Warriors or whatever just doesn’t sound right. Hail! (or is that derogatory?)

  13. GET OVER IT THE REDSKINS are here to stay it not a derogatory word anymore. the wild west is past and gone and the pilgrims have been gone for along time. the Washington redskins are as american as a slice of apple pie. no one ever talked about changing the team name till you tree hugging cry babies ran out of other things to complain about and the REDSKINS had a successful season so since they where played on prime time tv and made the news for something positive you guys have to pull them down and rain on all of us Redskins parades.SO GET OVER IT THE REDSKINS ARE HERE TO STAY.

  14. Dude,
    Get off the freakin hippie high horse. Did it ever occur to you that maybe for some people it is a little hard to let go of the sentiment of having called their home team the Redskins for 3 generations? It’s like growing to adulthood and someone telling you to call your Mom by her real first name, and that the name Mom is offensive to another group of people…I don’t care, and neither does anyone else. The only people that give the name any power are those very people that want to protest the name so much, and want to be on yahoo newsfeeds. Every Redskin fan worth anything has only ever associated that name with courage in battle…or something like that. But douche bags like you keep wanting to bring it to a dark place. People can manipulate words any way they want, why not let the name take on new meaning? The word faggot used to mean a bundle of sticks, but now it does not because of ignorance going the other direction. The term Redskin has taken on a different meaning for thousands upon thousands of people in the better way. Why not let it evolve into something positive and let the negative side die already? I agree with AJ, I would probably turn my card in for awhile, maybe I’d come back and maybe not…but when you have memories of watching Riggins bust through the line against the Baltimore Colts at RFK from the nosebleed seats as a REDSKINS fan from the old school, don’t try to tell me I should just buy another jersey that that say’s the freaking Warriors on it…because it ain’t the same and it would sting like a bitch for awhile!

  15. My friends in Washington tell me that there has always been an underground joke that many has come up with independently. Don’t change the name, change the logo –> to a potato. After all, animals and people are all over the NFL, but vegetables are under-represented, and its time to end tohis miscarriage of justice…

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