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.)