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WP: Black fans have grown to love the Redskins


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Very interesting article as part of the "DC Sports Fan" series the Post has going on now

Click here for link

Black fans have grown to love the Redskins

Fifty years ago this fall, civil rights groups protested the opening of D.C. Stadium, whose most important tenants — the Washington Redskins — were the last National Football League team to remain segregated. A half-century after many area sports fans boycotted the team for racial reasons, the Redskins have an unrivaled hold on Washington’s black community.

The affinity for the team is seen at Mount Ephraim Baptist Church on fall Sundays, when the Rev. Joseph Gilmore Jr., dismisses his parishioners at 12:30 so he can get situated in his “man cave” before kickoff.

It’s revealed at Fairmont Heights High School, where math teacher George Wake gets students’ attention on Monday mornings “with some kind of math problem involving the Redskins and Cowboys.” And it’s evident at DeMatha High, where boys’ basketball players must declare their allegiance before Washington-Dallas games, with the losing side running extra wind sprints the following day.

The deep relationship between the Washington area’s black sports fans and the Redskins is supported by a new Washington Post poll, which found that two thirds of African American fans have a favorable view of the team and four in 10 feel that way “strongly.” Less than half of white fans have an overall favorable view. The racial differences concerning Daniel Snyder, the team’s owner, are even starker. Black fans are fairly evenly divided on Snyder, but 72 percent of white sports fans in the area give Snyder negative marks, compared with 9 percent positive.

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Doesn't DC have a large black population? Why wouldn't they align with the home team? Or am I missing something here?

Well, I'm pretty sure the whole point is that the Redskins were the last team in the NFL to have a black player on the roster because the former owner was a racist, I think he was anyway, I don't know the guy.

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weren't the Redskins one of (if not the last) to integrate? maybe the writer thinks black people still hold a grudge? that's really the only angle i can see him playing up as controversial. otherwise, DC has a very diverse population so it's very likely that lot's of people of all colors like the Redskins. it's 2011 dude. wake up.

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Interesting I guess but unless there are poll numbers from the past to show that African Americans in DC liked the Skins less than they do now, it's kind of pointless.

The Redskins history is well known. It's also well known that it's due to GPM's "white only team of the south" policy that we have generational Cowboy fans in DC. But growing up, I don't recall any less "black" support of the Redskins than now. Maybe there was. But unless there is a poll from 1980 or something that backs it up, this article is kind of pointless.

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Interesting I guess but unless there are poll numbers from the past to show that African Americans in DC liked the Skins less than they do now, it's kind of pointless.

The Redskins history is well known. It's also well known that it's due to GPM's "white only team of the south" policy that we have generational Cowboy fans in DC. But growing up, I don't recall any less "black" support of the Redskins than now. Maybe there was. But unless there is a poll from 1980 or something that backs it up, this article is kind of pointless.

How about taking my word for it?

I'm old enough to remember all white crowds, but you have to go back further than the 80s. I really can't pinpoint a year because the rate of change was gradual, but Bobby Mitchell played before an all white crowd.

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I work in Capitol Hill. I'd say the divide between Redskins and Cowboys fans is almost even in the DC area AA community. I'm talking NE, SE and PG County. Maybe its 55/45 in favor of the Skins, and of course there are other beloved teams like the Steelers. But when it comes down to why many local AA people dislike the Skins, it almost always goes back to GPM. Almost nobody under 60 can remember GPM's efforts to block integration, but their grandfathers, and great grandfathers, and uncles probably remember. As a result, countless AA households in the DC area have sided w/ the Cowboys ever since. The Cowboys winning more than the Redskins has also helped greatly for the past 50 years.

If you live in NOVA or Montgomery County, it's not nearly as noticable.

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I see alot of people from the DC area that visit Dover, DE for the Casino, and i'd say the majority of people that I see are older (mid 60's) black couples, and easily 60% of them are sporting some sort of Skins gear. In case you're not already aware, older black women love to play the slots. So their husbands spend alot of time standing/sitting around, and often that brings them into this one outside bar at the casino where i'm usually hanging out, watching whatever sports are on at that particular moment. I've met alot of cool people, great Skins fans, people that have worked at FedEx as security or concessions, while hanging out there and its no surprise to me that the Skins have a strong black following in the area. At least from an outsiders perspective thats sort of a no-brainer in my opinion. I know alot of the older guys I talk to became strong supporters during the Doug William span. Personally I could care less if they're black, white, oriental, whatever, its just nice to have some fellow Skins fans to talk to in this sea of green that I live in.

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Doesn't DC have a large black population? Why wouldn't they align with the home team? Or am I missing something here?

Historically, older black fans rooted for the Cowboys because the Redskins were owned by a horrible racist.

Obviously, 40 years makes a difference.

---------- Post added October-27th-2011 at 07:04 AM ----------

weren't the Redskins one of (if not the last) to integrate? maybe the writer thinks black people still hold a grudge? that's really the only angle i can see him playing up as controversial. otherwise, DC has a very diverse population so it's very likely that lot's of people of all colors like the Redskins. it's 2011 dude. wake up.

Considering that the article mentions in the first sentence that the Redskins were the last team to integrate, I think the answer is that the Redskins were the last team to integrate.

Why do people here get angry about any article that discusses the intersection of sports, politics, and culture? I find those kinds of discussions fascinating.

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So what is the point again? Is someone running for office? Does Barrack Obama or Mitt Romney need to know this information? It seems to me that the author of this article is making following the Redskins a racial issue. What a bad idea and a moron.

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They polled 800 people. There's like 3 million people in the DMV area. Kind of a small sample size, wouldn't you say?

You also have to factor the wording of the questions asked to the subjects, who was asking, where and when they were asking...

Polling is never an exact science, and results are often skewed to what the pollsters are seeking. I.E. if Rolling Stone Magazine wants to survey public opinion on the legalization of pot, they'll go to big cities on the two coasts rather than small towns in the Midwest.

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I work in Capitol Hill. I'd say the divide between Redskins and Cowboys fans is almost even in the DC area AA community. I'm talking NE, SE and PG County. Maybe its 55/45 in favor of the Skins, and of course there are other beloved teams like the Steelers. But when it comes down to why many local AA people dislike the Skins, it almost always goes back to GPM. Almost nobody under 60 can remember GPM's efforts to block integration, but their grandfathers, and great grandfathers, and uncles probably remember. As a result, countless AA households in the DC area have sided w/ the Cowboys ever since. The Cowboys winning more than the Redskins has also helped greatly for the past 50 years.

If you live in NOVA or Montgomery County, it's not nearly as noticable.

My guess is that it matters when your family moved to DC and how involved your family was in Civil Rights. PG County is essentially the home base of the black middle class in America. I would think that residents there would be "engaged" for lack of a better word or come from families that were. So, there would be a lingering resentment or distrust of the Redskins.

What makes the DC region unique is that not only is the District a minority-majority city but PG County is minority-majority as well. It would be economic suicide for the Skins to not be engaged with the black community simply based on volume at this point.

---------- Post added October-27th-2011 at 07:12 AM ----------

So what is the point again? Is someone running for office? Does Barrack Obama or Mitt Romney need to know this information? It seems to me that the author of this article is making following the Redskins a racial issue. What a bad idea and a moron.

Historically, NOT following the Redskins WAS a racial issue.

According to this article, that is no longer the case.

It just dawned on me that the history of the Redskins may, in fact, parallel the history of the Democratic Party. If anyone is working on a PhD in politics or sociology, I just gave you your thesis topic. Enjoy.

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Perhaps the article is relevent to some, but as a "Black fan" I don't think of the civil rights movement in conjuntion with rooting for the Skins. Maybe because i was born in the mid 70s and didn't seriously start following football until i was 11. Hate to be dismissive, but this more of an FYI piece (FOR ME) than anything else.

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OK so whats the point of this article again??
my sentiments exactly.

Did you read the article?

---------- Post added October-27th-2011 at 09:12 AM ----------

OK so whats the point of this article again??
Perhaps the article is relevent to some, but as a "Black fan" I don't think of the civil rights movement in conjuntion with rooting for the Skins. Maybe because i was born in the mid 70s and didn't seriously start following football until i was 11. Hate to be dismissive, but this more of an FYI piece (FOR ME) than anything else.

I think your right. It was an FYI and not to stir something up, but just the fact that so much has changed.

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