Survey reports nine out of 10 Native Americans aren’t offended by Redskins name
Most Native Americans aren’t bothered by the NFL team in Washington calls itself the Redskins.
That’s according to a nationwide telephone poll conducted by the Washington Post, which determined nine out of 10 Native Americans are not offended by the Washington Redskins name. A total of 504 people took part in the survey.
In addition, seven of 10 didn’t find the word “Redskin” disrespectful and eight out of 10 said they wouldn’t be offended if called that name themselves.
Team owner Daniel Snyder, who has withstood immense public pressure to change the name, was quick to embrace the findings.
“The Washington Redskins team, our fans and community have always believed our name represents honor, respect and pride,” he said in a statement. “Today’s Washington Post polling shows Native Americans agree. We are gratified by this overwhelming support from the Native American community, and the team will proudly carry the Redskins name.”
Leaders of Change the Mascot, a group led by the Oneida Indian Nation that continues to pressure the NFL and Washington’s team to drop the nickname, disagree and released the following statement:
“The results of this poll confirm a reality that is encouraging but hardly surprising: Native Americans are resilient and have not allowed the NFL’s decades-long denigration of us to define our own self-image. However, that proud resilience does not give the NFL a license to continue marketing, promoting, and profiting off of a dictionary-defined racial slur — one that tells people outside of our community to view us as mascots.
“Social science research and first hand experience has told us that this kind of denigration has both visible and unseen consequences for Native Americans in this country. This is especially the case for children, who were not polled and who are in a particularly vulnerable position to be bullied by the NFL. It is the 21st century — it is long overdue for Native Americans to be treated not as mascots or targets of slurs, but instead as equals.”
The team has been fighting in court to retain its federal trademark registration on the name. The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s appeal board determined in 2014 that the word is offensive to Native Americans and, therefore, isn’t eligible for trademark protection. A federal judge upheld that decision last year, and now the team has petitioned the Supreme Court on the matter.
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