In “The Media Bubble, Redskins Edition,” Sonny Bunch of the Washington Free Beacon squares the circle:
And, as I’ve noted here, there is a growing annoyance with the entertainment press—sports, film, video game writers—for being not only out of step with their readership but also frequently ignoring their subjects altogether in favor of opining on topics that are either implicitly or explicitly political in nature. I remain convinced that roughly 80 percent of the angst over #GamerGate relates to a similar notion: issues of ethics aside, gamers were tired of being told how horribly sexist and racist they were for playing games and engaging with gamer culture. As a result, they finally snapped. Similarly, I get the sense that sports fans are pretty sick and tired of being lectured on issues that are either entirely unrelated to sports (say, gun control) or, at best, marginally related to sports (the level of political correctness of a team name). You can see some of that frustration in the following data points, which track the answer to the question “Should the Redskins change their name, or not”:
Sonny links to a chart that notes:
Should Should Not
1992 7% 89%
2013 11% 79%
2014 14% 83%
As he concludes:
What’s fascinating to me is the fact that, despite a near-unanimous chorus from the sports media over the last 18 months or so on the evils of the Redskins brand, “should not [change the name]” is +4 from 2013 to 2014 while “should [change the name]” is only +3. Considering that “should not” already had the support of almost four in five respondents, any uptick would have been surprising. But “should not” out-gaining “should” is downright shocking, and suggests to me that Americans, by nature a reactionary lot, are just about tired of all this silliness, thanks.
I wouldn’t name a new sports team the Redskins in 2014, just as I doubt anyone would start organizations named the United Negro College Fund or the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, as all three names have been dated by time and changing linguistic attitudes. But all three names connote often proud traditions and have hugely loyal bases of support. Not to mention — aren’t there far bigger issues in the world to fixate on than the name of an organization? (Back in July, responding to the MSM’s collective Alinsky-style panty-twist over the Redskins, Dennis Prager wrote, “Those who do not confront the greatest evils will confront much lesser evils or simply manufacture alleged evils that they then confront.”) Or as John Nolte notes at Big Journalism:
1. The common sense of the American people who understand that team names are meant to be compliments, not insults. As an example, no one has named their football team “The MSNBC Jerk-Offs.”
2. The American people understand that this obsession isn’t based on principal but rather a mainstream media that is looking for a — if you’ll pardon the expression — scalp. This is a power play, a game among insufferable elites to prove to themselves they still have power with a senseless notch in the “win” column.
Which also ties this post back to Sonny Bunch’s Beacon column, which concluded with Bunch asking, “I guess the only question is this: How long until there’s a #GamerGate for sports?”
Of course, another question arises at the intersection of #GamerGate and the Redskins. Both high tech and the NFL take the support of conservatives and non-leftist fans for granted, rarely if ever paying positive lip service to them, for fear of stirring up the often fatal PC hornest’s nest. (See also: firing of Firefox’s Brendan Eich for supporting traditional marriage, the NFL rejecting Rush Limbaugh from team ownership thanks in part to a falsified Wikipedia quote, and numerous other PC scalps). When will that begin to change?
— ClarkHat (@ClarkHat) October 21, 2014