In the interest of hearing out differing opinions, here’s an email reader Gary Beck said I could share. He described today’s column about the Washington NFL team’s nickname as an “atrocity.” Interesting choice of word considering the subject matter and origin of the nickname:
I was exceedingly disappointed to learn that you have been seduced by a narrow view (financed no doubt by casinos and tax-free cigarettes) of a much larger situation. From what I have read, only 10% of native Americans hold such a view, and the rest don’t care. I have seen the ad and nearly barfed.
I see this ad as a version of the Cloward and Piven strategy for forcing change (overwhelm the opposition thru sensationalism and deceit), Obama’s strategies for inducing societal change, and even the Abercrumb’s trying to sell pig-in-a-poke universal Pre-K Ed. The next step in this scenario is to vilify and roundly castigate any and all dissenters.
The larger issue is that an attack such as the ad ignores something all American sports fans do–love their teams as they are because the names are steeped in tradition. If the trend involving the D.C. pro football team is allowed to continue, what will happen to the Cleveland Indians (with the ugly logo), Kansas City Chiefs, Florida State Seminoles, Atlanta Braves, some U in the Dakotas named the Fighting Sioux, the Fighting Illini in Illinois, and many others?
What will happen if a bunch of southerners demand that the name of the baseball Yankees be changed to Carpetbaggers?
What is needed is a balance between tradition and propriety.
Poor decision by the advertisers. If they didn’t want the ad to flop, they shouldn’t have put it in the NBA Finals.
Gary Beck’s opinion is an atrocity. Memo to Mr. Beck: the poll you’re referring to is a 10-year-old flawed poll conducted by the Annenberg Institute. When I called the guy who was in charge of it, Adam Clymer, this is what he said (in between laughs that the team was actually using his poll for propaganda to keep the name):
“Let’s say my poll was accurate, that 9 out of 10 were okay with name. So, if you have a dinner party, invite 10 people and 9 have an amazing time but one you completely offend, to the point where others are uncomfortable, were you really a social success that night?”