Saving Our Skins

With 10 of the 435 members of Congress calling for the Redskins to change their name, despite recent polling that suggests only 11 percent of the public objects, I thought it might be a good time to re-run this post from a few months back.

Again, I think what is so telling about this issue is how unrepresentative the media is of the way the public feels.  As I discuss in this piece, every major public opinion poll ever taken on this topic (including one exclusive to Native Americans) suggests that the vast majority have no issue with the nickname. However, the media is essentially 100% against it.

Hell, even Stephen A. Smith and Skip Bayless of the ESPN (contrived) debate show “First Take” found common ground, here, which is a bit alarming. In the piece below, I not only discuss the substance of the debate, but also explore just what is at work with the mainstream media not only being in lockstep, but being in lockstep in a way that is totally at odds with the way the public feels.  The media will continue to bring this story up until a critical mass of people agree with their position.  And, if that never happens, it will nonetheless persist in perpetuity.  Enjoy.

The Axis of Ego

I didn’t think much of it one way or the other when Harrison Weinhold brought up the Washington Redskins’ nickname during the podcast we recorded over a week ago.  The conversation meandered from weighty issue to weighty issue, and the brief detour into sports felt unremarkable.  After all, the Redskins’ nickname has been mildly controversial in some circles for a couple of decades now, with the anti-“Redskins” sentiment never gaining much traction.

ChiefZWe’d get a disposable opinion piece once in a while, and the odd publication here or there would announce with a modest dash of self-congratulation that it would henceforth refuse to use the team nickname in its NFL coverage.  Generally, this was the sports equivalent of the intermittent, scary “summer of the shark attack” story: A few people would get riled up, we would worry about it and discuss it for a few weeks, but all was forgotten…

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