The Redskins would have trouble taking yes for an answer.
At a time when the controversy regarding the team’s name has died down considerably, the Redskins have put it back on the front burner by issuing a press release touting a new poll that shows opposition to a potential name change. However, close inspection of the results should that support for a name change is increasing, at a rate that should alarm the Redskins.
The poll showed that 71 percent oppose a name change, 18 percent support it, and 11 percent are undecided.
Conducted by Public Policy Polling, the survey encompassed
741 registered voters who answered a variety of NFL-related questions via automated telephone interviews from December 13 through December 17, 2013. The geographic scope of the polling was not specified.
Not surprisingly, the team has once again declared victory as to the ongoing name controversy.
“This poll, along with the poll taken among Native Americans by the Annenberg Institute, demonstrates continued, widespread and deep opposition to the Redskins changing our name,” the team said. “The results of this poll are solidly in line with the message we have heard from fans and Native Americans for months – our name represents a tradition, passion and heritage that honors Native Americans. We respect the point of view of the small number of people who seek a name change, but it is important to recognize very few people agree with the case they are making.”
“Very few people” is a relative, self-serving term. Nearly one out of five people is hardly “very few people.”
Moreover, the opposition to the name actually is growing. In 1992, 89 percent supported the team’s name. An Associated Press poll conducted last April put the number at 79 percent.
Now, after dropping 10 percentage points in 20 years, support has plunged eight more percentage points in only eight months.
Of course, the Redskins won’t characterize the results that way, because such candor would demonstrate that, eventually, the clock on owner Daniel Snyder’s desk will read five minutes past all-caps never.