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The Pigskins Shame Spiral is an occasional feature tracking developments related to the name of D.C.’s beloved football team.
Who: Participants in a recent poll conducted by Public Policy Polling
Change the name? It depends on whom you ask. Among 410 NFL fans surveyed in early February, the majority (64 percent) said the Pigskins should not change their name versus one in four who said the team should. But a closer look at the data reveals that participants ages 18 to 29 as well as African-American and Hispanic participants were more likely to say down with the slur. Here are charts of those breakdowns:
Why? Change the Mascot’s and Oneida Indian Nation’s Ray Halbritter helps explain: “These survey results confirm what we have sensed in so many different ways over the last few years: namely, that more and more Americans want the National Football League to start respecting people of color and stop marketing a dictionary-defined racial slur,” he said in a release. “Young people and communities of color are a major part of the future of this country—and they are making a strong statement that the future must be about civility, tolerance and respect, not about promoting racially charged epithets.” Got that, Snyder?
Shame Spiral rating: Finger wag. The poll is reassuring in some ways: More NFL fans want the Washington football team to change its name since the last such poll was conducted, Change the Mascot notes. Still, it is deeply problematic that a majority of fans say they are OK with discrimination.
And that’s just not cool.
Illustration by Jandos Rothstein; charts via PPP poll