Once again, the Washington Redskins and their controversial nickname are once again in the spotlight. However, for those who happen to be in favor of the team keeping their nickname, a recent poll should come as good news to that particular group of people.
The Washington Post recently surveyed just over 500 Native Americans across the country and they came to what has to be considered a very interesting conclusion: The Native Americans who were polled actually aren’t offended by the team’s nickname, to the point where 9 out of 10 Native Americans didn’t think that it was offensive.
The Washington Post noted that Washington owner Daniel Snyder has been citing a poll from 2004 that had similar results to this new poll as one of his main reasons behind keeping the team’s nickname, and this recent news will probably only cause him to dig deeper into that particular trench.
The results — immediately celebrated by team owner Daniel Snyder and denounced by one prominent Native American leader — could make it that much harder for anti-name activists’ to pressure team officials, who have already used the poll as further justification to retain the moniker. Beyond that, the findings might impact the ongoing legal battle over the team’s federal trademark registrations and the eventual destination of the Redskins’ next stadium. The name controversy has clouded talks between the team and the District, widely considered Snyder’s desired destination.
“The Washington Redskins team, our fans and community have always believed our name represents honor, respect and pride,” the owner 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.”
Of course, it’s difficult to claim that 504 people speak for an entire race, and prominent leaders in that community have spoken out against the results of this poll. So it wouldn’t be safe to say that all Native Americans are in favor of the nickname, and some would say that even if a minority of Native Americans are offended, that should be enough reason to move on from the nickname. On the flip side, it’s now obvious that there is actually a bit of support for the nickname within the community, and that can’t be ignored when you discuss this.
I highly suggest reading the article (and the Post’s corresponding guide to their coverage of the debate surrounding the nickname), since it tries its best to go further in depth to the poll and also tries to tackle all sides of the issue, as this poll will probably only stoke the fires of the debate — even though this poll says that Native Americans are generally not offended by the name, the Post also noted that the general public still objects to the name. Even with the results of this poll, that particular fact probably won’t change any time soon.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what you all think about this. If you support the nickname, is this confirmation for you that they should keep the nickname and that we should all move on? Or if you’re against it, do you think that they should’ve polled more Native Americans across the country in order to get a better idea of exactly where the entire community stood on the issue? Let us know what you think!