New ESPN Poll Shows 71% of Viewers Support Keeping Redskins Team Name

The verdict is in: After years of liberal lecturing about the Washington Redskins’ “offensive” team name, the vast majority of the public just doesn’t care that much. A new ESPN poll found that 71 percent of viewers supported keeping the name, including 53 percent of liberals.

Still, almost a third support changing the name, up from 8 percent in 1992 and 20 percent just one year ago, when it became a major news story again. That indicates that the media are not merely interested in reporting the news, but in changing public opinion – and they’re succeeding.

Don’t read too much into the numbers among liberals. They’ll become strongly negative soon enough, as opposition to “Redskins” slowly joins the canon of What Good Progressives Believe. The number among the under-45 set is interesting, although I’d love to see a more refined split between the youngest adults and the middle-aged. It only stands to reason, I think, that the older you are, and the fonder your memories of the team’s glory years, the more attached to “Redskins” you’ll be. A younger cohort (which leans left to begin with) doesn’t face that obstacle. It may be that, a la opposition to gay marriage, support for the team’s name will simply age out over time as older fans are replaced by younger ones.

The article also notes that while 71 percent oppose the name change, about half thought it would happen anyway. This might be the most significant finding of all, since it indicates that the majority feels helpless to stop these ridiculous PC crusades. We’ve seen it over and over again with issues like gay marriage and smut on TV: The group that holds the minority opinion has a huge advantage in the media. If they scream loudly and angrily enough about what decent people are “supposed” to think, the majority is eventually cowed into silence.

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