During the past few years, the efforts to change the name of the National Football League team in Washington, D.C., have led several liberals to denounce any use of the word “Redskins.”
Nevertheless, a poll recently conducted for the Associated Press found that only 14 percent of respondents agreed with broadcasters who refuse to use “the R-word” and the NBC Sports story that claimed the presence of six protesters was a sign that the controversy is “not going away.”
After noting that 83 percent of those surveyed felt the team should not change its name, sociologist David Weikliem stated that a number of factors pointed to people on both sides of the dispute.
“Party identification and self-rated political ideology made a substantial difference,” he indicated, with “about 20 percent of Democrats and liberals, and only six or seven percent of Republicans and conservatives” supporting a name change.
Age made a difference: People 18-29 were more likely to support a change. So did education: People with graduate degrees were more likely to support a change. So did ethnicity: Blacks, Hispanics and Asian-Americans were all more likely to support a change.
“Region didn't make much difference,” Weikliem added, and neither did income. “However, people living in cities were more likely to support a name change.”
Referring to the poll, Washington Post columnist and political scientist Andrew Gelman focused on “the contrast between public opinion (6 to 1 against a change in name) and the politics.”
“One might characterize this as the difference between position and momentum,” he stated. “The Redskins name still hasn’t been changed, so in that sense, the policy is congruent with public opinion, but there definitely is a sense that the supporters of the team name are on the retreat.”
John Nolte, a columnist for the Breitbart.com website, sharply disagreed with Gelman's point of view on the matter.
“After their failed efforts to steal our guns and open our borders,” he stated, “we now have another example of an increasingly bubbled and out-of-touch mainstream media failing to move the public-opinion needle: A new poll shows that after more than a year of dishonest propaganda and race-baiting, only 14 percent want the Washington Redskins to change its name.”
As NewsBusters previously reported, MSNBC host Rachel Maddow used the beginning of the 2013 football season as an opportunity to claim the team's name is “painfully racist” and concluded the segment by telling her minuscule audience: “Happy Football Season, everybody, and I hope your team has a name you can say without wincing.”
Meanwhile, NBC sportscaster Bob Costas used a halftime commentary to roll out a controversial rant -- with no rebuttal -- against the term “Redskins.”
For the first 90 seconds, he apparently tried to sound reasonable, tried to stipulate that most people like “Redskins” just fine, including a majority of Native Americans. “They all mean well,” Costas said. “But they’re all wrong. 'Redskins' can’t possibly be acceptable in today’s world.”
But in his Thursday column, Nolte declared that 14 percent “might as well be zero. A recent poll found that 19 percent of Americans were willing to consider the idea that space aliens were behind the disappearance of Flight 370.”
“The elite media's failure (including the left-wing ESPN) is based on three things,” he stated.
First is the “common sense of the American people, who understand that team names are meant to be compliments, not insults.”
“The American people understand that this obsession isn't based on principle but rather a mainstream media that is looking for a -- if you'll pardon the expression – scalp,” Nolte listed as his second item. “This is a power play, a game among insufferable elites to prove to themselves they still have power with a senseless notch in the 'win' column.”
Finally, the “New Media is coming on like gangbusters and able to get the truth out the elite media hide -- a counter-narrative,” he asserted. “The most important truth is that outside of a small group of American Indian race grifters, polls prove that the American Indian isn't offended by what the elite palefaces demand they be offended by.”
Nolte summarized his viewpoint by stating that Native Americans, the rest of the American people and even the members of the elite media aren't offended by a team named the Redskins.
”Our Media Overlords are just pretending to be offended as a way to preen their moral superiority, lord their sanctimony, and assume their natural position as bullies,” he noted.
As long as Dan Snyder remains the owner of the Washington Redskins, the team name won't be changed, but that doesn't mean liberals won't use the manufactured controversy to get some publicity, which is probably their real objective anyway.