WASHINGTON DC — The debate over whether the Washington Redskins should change their nickname became a little cloudier Thursday after a poll by the Washington Post said nine out of 10 Native Americans are not offended by the name.
The poll surveyed 504 people across the county over a five-month period ending in April 2016.
Results of the poll revealed seven in 10 said they did not feel the word “Redskin” was disrespectful to Native Americans and eight in 10 said they would not be offended if a non-native called them the name.
The team recently asked the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its case over the controversial Redskins trademark that was ruled offensive to Native Americans by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.
Redskins have kept their trademark during the appeals process.
Redskins’ owner Daniel Snyder, who has been steadfast in his defense of the name, released at statement to Pro Football Talk about the poll’s findings.
“The Washington Redskins team, our fans and community have always believed our name represents honor, respect, and pride. 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.”
Snyder’s opinion was not shared by all though.
Two of the biggest leaders in the change the name movement released a joint statement concerning the poll’s finding.
“Native Americans are resilient and have not allowed the NFL’s decades-long denigration of us to define our own self-image,” wrote Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter and National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jacqueline Pata. “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.”