Poll: Native Americans approve of Redskins name

By The Sports Xchange  |  May 20, 2016 at 4:14 AM
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A poll conducted by the Washington Post found that 90 percent of Native Americans aren't offended by the nickname of the Washington Redskins.

The Post said it polled 504 Native Americans from around the country. It also found that 78 percent of the people polled don't consider the name to be an important issue.

The Redskins have been under fire in recent seasons to change the name as many people find the nickname to be a term that is derogatory to Native Americans.

Owner Dan Snyder has refused to change the name and he expressed appreciation for the Washington Post's poll results.

"The Washington Redskins team, our fans and community have always believed our name represents honor, respect and pride," Snyder 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."

A group called Change the Mascot reiterated its stance after seeing the results.

"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," National Congress of American Indians executive director Jackie Pata and Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter said in the statement. "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 firsthand 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."

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