Big ’Skins Watch news yesterday, as The Washington Post, whose editorial board has been a longtime supporter of the “change the name” movement, rolled out the results of a new nationwide poll showing that an overwhelming majority of Native Americans have no problem with “Redskins” as a team name.
As you might expect, I received a lot of emails and tweets yesterday asking what I think of the poll results. As you might also expect, I do indeed have quite a few thoughts on the matter, which I’d like to share. Unfortunately, I was busy yesterday with ESPN work and some other stuff, and then I had to attend a friend’s birthday party in the evening, and today I’m going out to Long Island to see my mom, so I simply haven’t had time to address this. But I’ll get to it next week, promise.
In the meantime, I strongly, strongly suggest that anyone interested in this issue take some time to digest the Post’s entire package, which consists of four components. I read them myself in the following order, and I recommend that you do the same (note that the Post has a 10-article-per-month limit for non-subscribers; if you max out, however, you can keep getting access to 10 additional articles by switching to another browser, and then another, etc.):
• The actual poll data — i.e., the questions that were asked and the percentage breakdowns of the responses — is here.
• The Post’s front-page news report on the poll results is here.
• The Post did follow-up interviews with many Native Americans who participated in the poll. Quotes from 12 of them are here.
• Post sports columnist Dan Steinberg (who has covered the team name controversy pretty extensively over the years but has not, to my knowledge, staked out a position on it himself) wrote a thoughtful analysis of the poll results, which is here.
Given the Post editorial board’s longstanding position on this issue, I expect they’ll be publishing a new editorial about the poll results soon. As of now, however, they haven’t yet done so. If and when they do, I’ll link to it.
Team owner Daniel Snyder, who has been adamant about retaining the franchise’s name, is trumpeting the poll results as a complete validation of his position. Judging by much of the reaction I saw yesterday, many “keep the name” fans feel similarly, with many of them saying the issue is now resolved.
It probably won’t surprise you to hear that I think the situation is considerably more complex and nuanced than that. But I fully acknowledge that the poll results are powerful, and that they call certain aspects of my position into question. I’ll be rethinking those aspects accordingly.
Feel free to comment on this, but please-please-please take the time to read at least the first three components of the Post package before commenting, so we can have an informed discussion based on the actual facts and figures, not based on emotions or preconceived notions. Thanks.
Like I said, I’m spending the day with my mom, so I won’t be commenting on this myself. Try to play nice while I’m away. If you can’t play nice, at least try to save it until next week, when I present my thoughts about the poll. You can go full-throttle then.
Friday Flashback: It’s only been three years since the Warriors introduced the NBA’s first sleeved jerseys. Feels like it’s been longer than that, doesn’t it? My latest Friday Flashback column on ESPN takes a look at how what began as a one-team experiment has grown into a league-wide blitz. Check it out here.
To those of you who responded to my recent call for pro-sleeves commentary: I had hoped to include your voices in today’s Flashback column but ran out of room. Your feedback was interesting, though, and I plan to feature it here on the blog shortly. My thanks to everyone who contributed.
By Mike Chamernik
Baseball News: The Rays and Giants will throw back to the 1970s on June 18. The Rays will again wear fauxbacks, since the team didn’t exist until 1998 (from Phil). … Mets P Bartolo Colon filed a trademark for his Big Sexy nickname. I don’t know how trademarks work, but I do know that many others, including pro wrestler Kevin Nash and former NBA center Kurt Thomas, have had the same nickname. … Couple items from Andrew Cosentino: The Orioles made some clever Get Out of Work/School Free cards to promote yesterday’s day game. The O’s will give away these flag-themed shirts for Memorial Day. And, here’s a Virginia Tech softball uni concept that Andrew digs. … Lots of good photos here of the Phillies’ all-burgundy Saturday Night Special game in 1979. … A soon-to-be-open Fort Worth BBQ joint is selling Rangers-themed “Rougned eats free” shirts. The restaurant will also give Rougned Odor free food for punching out the Blue Jays’ Jose Bautista last weekend (from Max Weintraub). … Yesterday we wondered why David Price has two dates stitched on his glove. He has them to honor two friends, Tyler Morrissey and Nathan Stephen, who died. That article is from 2010, and Price is quoted as saying that he has his friends’ names on his glove. I couldn’t find any game photos of that (this was the only Rays pic I could find), but this site purports that he wore a glove with “Live like Nate” on it in 2009 (from AdÃ¡n Encinas). … The Reading Fightin Phils will wear Chewbacca jerseys in June (from our own Fightin Phil). … The Mariners continue to struggle with the letterspacing of their NOBs of their blue alts. Those little serifs throw off everything. … Cool late-1970s/early-1980s MLB wallpaper (from Burrill Strong). … Arkansas P Anthony Dahl had a lot of air bubbles in his jersey number last night (from Dustin Semore). … There’s an online vote taking place to crown MLB’s best jersey. … The Texas Rangers are announcing plans for a new retractable-roof stadium. Their current stadium, the Ballpark at Arlington, opened in 1994 (from Brinke).
NFL News: The NFL will be returning the $723K they made from taxpayer-paid military tributes. The funds will go back to the government treasury. … Yesterday we noted that Ken Anderson wore a gray facemask while his teammates had black ones. It looks like Anderson stuck with the same facemask over the years and would just paint it black. According to the Gridiron Uniform Database, the Bengals wore gray facemasks until 1979 before switching to black. Anderson played for Cincinnati from 1971 to 1986.
College Football News: Talk about a full facemask. That’s Nebraska’s Bob Broadstone in 1928 (from Brett Baker). … Our (un)official Knockoff Football Merch Spain Correspondent Jonathan Sluss found this Michigan “State” shirt. I mentioned earlier this week that Jon found a chintzy Seahawks jersey as well.
Hockey News: The Panthers’ new logo leaked a while back, but it will be officially unveiled, along with new uniforms, on June 2. … We’ve all seen FNOBs, but here’s something new: a hyphenated FNOB (from David Firestone).
Soccer News: Apparel manufacturer Le Coq Sportif introduced new jerseys for ACF Fiorentina and Saint-Etienne (from Chris Cruz). … New jersey fonts for English Football League (EFL) teams next year (from George Chilvers). … A teenager in a full England kit interrupted the English national team’s open practice the other day.
Grab Bag: Navy lacrosse will wear these gloves on Saturday for its NCAA Quarterfinal game against Brown. “Note the Marine Corps logo on the cuff,” writes Kevin Mueller. “It’s not clear if they all get it, or if that’s only for the Midshipmen who are going the Marine Corps route.” … New car design for NHRA funny car driver John Force (from David Firestone).