Home News Poll finds 90% of Native Americans are OK with Washington Redskins name

Poll finds 90% of Native Americans are OK with Washington Redskins name

May 20, 2016 at 6:55 am 34 News
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A poll in the Washington Post has found that nine out of 10 Native Americans are not offended by the Washington Redskins name.

The poll surveyed 504 people who identified as Native American in every state in the US, and reflects the findings of a similar poll in 2004. Washington’s NFL team has been under pressure for some time over its name, which many say is offensive. The survey also asked respondents whether the word “Redskin” itself is disrespectful: 21% said it is.

Washington’s owner, Dan Snyder, has long resisted calls to change the team’s name, and said the poll backed up his stance.

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

Suzan Harjo, who has challenged the team’s trademark protection, said she did not agree with the poll’s methods.

“I don’t accept self-identification,” Harjo, a member of the Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee tribes, told the Post. “People say they’re native, and they are not native, for all sorts of reasons. Those of us who are leaders in Indian Country know who we are representing. We also know if we are representing a minority view. And this is not the case here. Our experience is completely the opposite of the [2004] Annenberg poll and this one. I just reject the whole thing.”

Ray Halbritter and Jackie Pata, two other figures in the name-change movement, also pointed to the impact imagery in sports can have on young Native Americans.

“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,” they said in a statement. “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 Washington Post poll found that opinions among Native Americans towards the team’s name were consistent regardless of factors such as age, income and level of education. Non-Native Americans are, in fact, more likely to favor a name change. A 2014 ESPN poll found that 23% of the US population thought the team should change its name. Barack Obama, the Guardian and the Washington Post itself are among those to have urged Snyder to change the team’s name.

Copyright © 2016 theguardian.com. All rights reserved.

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Poll finds 90% of Native Americans are OK with Washington Redskins name, 10.0 out of 10 based on 7 ratings

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34 Comments

  1. disqus_B3pkVRzOVE May 20, 2016 at 9:07 am

    Suzan Harjo, I challenge you to research the origins of the word “Oklahoma”. For everyone else, it is from the Choctaw language, and means “red people”. If she is offended by the term “Redskins” she needs to demand that the State of Oklahoma be renamed.

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    • tws500 May 20, 2016 at 9:38 am

      I’m intolerant of doing things to satisfy a very few who are inconsiderate themselves…!!

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    • mgfred52 May 20, 2016 at 9:52 am

      The damn SOB liberals in politics want to make a name for themselves and have nothing to do with the Indians. oBOZO is all about issuing an apology to other countries and to the muslims why doesn’t he issue an apology to the American Indians for being moved from their lands and murdered by the hundreds because of expansion and GREED. He talks about how bad blacks have been treated while the Indians were treated much worst, if you talk about restitution for being wronged then every Indian should receive it. To this very day Indians are still treated like dirt and they still live in houses no black would ever live.

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    • Scruffy-USN-Retired
      Scruffy-USN-Retired May 20, 2016 at 10:29 am

      “Do you think leftists are the slightest bit troubled by the public’s overwhelming opposition to their crusade to force the Washington Redskins to change their name?
      Despite leftists’ ongoing effort to convince Native Americans and the rest of us that Native Americans must be offended by the long-standing name, the polls don’t seem to be moving in their direction. But that hardly deters them. They are the final arbiters of who may be offended.
      In the end, this liberal Democrat crusade has little to do with protecting the sensitivities of Native Americans and everything to do with liberals setting themselves up as their guardians. Their practice of patronizing groups cannot yield to the facts. Their cause transcends reality. For the cause is not defending the oppressed or the downtrodden but about making themselves look wonderful with their latest Con.”

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    • minaka May 20, 2016 at 4:29 pm

      Beware of putting more ideas in foolish heads that prefer to wallow in a past that was cruel to most people of the time and imaginary victimology in the present. Rather than give them another frivolous distraction, the professional “victims” like Harjo should be challenged to move on and make something of themselves on their own steam instead of harassing and sucking today’s whites dry who have never harmed them. Why is it accepted that someone with a red or black skin can keep dunning anyone simply on the basis that the person is white i.e. skin color, not actions? Isn’t that the very definition of racism?

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    • ltuser
      ltuser May 20, 2016 at 7:04 pm

      And to the liberals, they don’t CARE what the majority wants. Just look at gay marriage and the whole transgender bathroom issues. The majority’s rights don’t matter only the 1-3% do.

      So to them, it matters not if 90% of American Indians are ok with it, that there are a few who whine like little wusses, is enough for them to champion this cause to outlaw it.

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    • rekabcramnad May 20, 2016 at 8:36 pm

      Oklahoma is not the only one, there are lots of towns and cites also!!

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    • ltuser
      ltuser May 21, 2016 at 2:04 am

      Heck checking the wikipedia site, i see that many states have their names rooted in native american words.. Such as Ohio coming from the Seneca word for beautiful river (oh-yo).

      Heck there’s an entire page just dedicated to places in Alabama with native american names!

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  2. TallTXWoman May 20, 2016 at 9:12 am

    I have Indian blood in me albeit not much. I feel pride that the Washington Redskins are named the Redskins. I find nothing offensive about the name. I believe that it pays homage to the Native Americans, their pride as great warriors and survivors. People take great pride in their sports teams. In the 80s, I was a great fan of the Redskins while living in Dallas, Texas. Call me a Redskin ANY day before you call me a red commie.

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    • bruceinaz1 May 20, 2016 at 2:52 pm

      Why should we erase the history and legacy of the indigenous people of the U.S. In doing so, you discount their sacrifices that were part of the building of the greatest country ever known.

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  3. johnnyv May 20, 2016 at 9:19 am

    If I as a man can feel like I’m a woman today and everyone must agree with my beliefs, I might just start feeling that I’m Native American and I am not offended by the Redskins name, and according to the Obama administration, everyone must agree!

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  4. DonOldGuy May 20, 2016 at 9:25 am

    Somehow, I find that this would only be surprising to the untraveled and unaware Americans. Those who have visited the “National College of the American Indian” in Browning. Montana or attended an Indian Nations pow wow,know that when it comes to “political correctness” referring to A “Native American”, you should make an effort to know what tribe is theirs’. “Pueblos” and Cherokees” are not the same. My son was only about 9 years old, and a “victim” of public schooling, when he was immediately drawn to the warmth of a Blackfoot shop owner who was showing him some artifacts, after referring to himself as this “ole Injun”. He had been introduced to the Cherokee Nation in the East and was very aware, by that time, that the movie versions of headdress and tomahawks were quite location and tribal amenities. I made it a point to emphasize this part of his education, because our pitiful government actions toward them, to keep them ignored. While those groups that were captured by their own tribes in Africa, sold to Arab slavers, and finally brought to a land where they could, eventually be able to advance far beyond their ancestors and the current relatives are always in the forefront of the news.

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  5. ewtheckman May 20, 2016 at 9:34 am

    So what? Leftists are “offended” and the facts don’t matter, therefore they must be obeyed.

    </sarc>

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  6. tws500 May 20, 2016 at 9:34 am

    If Blacks refer to themselves by the color of their skin, then what’s wrong with others referring to themselves by the color of their skin also…?! Whites are called ‘whites’ by others…do any protest this…?!

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    • ewtheckman May 20, 2016 at 9:39 am

      While there are some that claim a negative meaning for the term, there are plenty of early examples of American Indians calling themselves “red skins” as a simple term of identification to distinguish themselves from those with different skin colors. That seems to be where the term came from.

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    • usafoldsarge
      usafoldsarge May 20, 2016 at 10:12 am

      “I don’t accept self-identification,” Harjo, a member of the Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee tribes, told the Post. “People say they’re native, and they are not native, for all sorts of reasons. Those of us who are leaders in Indian Country know who we are representing. We also know if we are representing a minority view. And this is not the case here. Our experience is completely the opposite of the [2004] Annenberg poll and this one. I just reject the whole thing.” Hypocrite!!!!!!!!!!!

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  7. DonS May 20, 2016 at 9:50 am

    New poll, same result. Of course Native Americans are NOT offended by the football team’s name. They’ve said so, over and over! It is the easily offended, tantrum throwing PC NAZI Thought Police that are upset. BOO HOO!

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  8. wisbob
    wisbob May 20, 2016 at 9:58 am

    Sadly, today in Obama’s new normal, we pay much more attention to the 10% (or far less) than we do to the 90%.

    And where do people come up with the opinion that the Redskins name is meant to disparage Native Americans? It was always meant as a name of honor, as are all team names.

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    • TallTXWoman May 20, 2016 at 10:05 am

      Absolutely. I agree.

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    • lfabans May 20, 2016 at 10:47 am

      The 10% are probably people like Elizabeth Fauxcahontas Warren.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser May 20, 2016 at 7:08 pm

      Since the left are nothing but the orgs of perpetual victimhood, they just MUST find something that could be offensive to someone somewhere, to champion getting rid of.. Otherwise they would run out of victims to whine for.

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  9. backpacker May 20, 2016 at 10:10 am

    From what I understand, the first coach of the Washington Redskins was a Native American. The Washington football team was named the “Redskins” in the Native American coaches honor. The first coach of the Redskins, being a Native American, was honored to have the Washington team named the “Redskins”. Also, from what I understand, the Redskin name, came from the red paint the Indians put on their faces, for their ceremonies, so the name Redskin is not a degrading term toward Native Americans.

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  10. Jeff613 May 20, 2016 at 10:38 am

    For Leftist, even if ONE person is offended, that is one person too many! Look at the bathroom law — three tenths of 1 percent, yes (0.3%) identify as transgender, but the left feel this demand immediate and sweeping action to change and put women and children into harm’s way.

    I wonder how many Native Americans are offended Leftist consider the word Redskin offensive?

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  11. joe23006
    joe23006 May 20, 2016 at 12:28 pm

    Halbritter and Pata got it wrong! It amazes me that they think mascot and team names are picked in order to denegrate, that makes no sense, mascota and team names usually refer to something to be looked up to, showing strength and character. These days it seems everybody has this need to be offended by something, I’m offended by those who take offense at just about everthing.
    We were through this with the Atlanta Braves until it was discovered the Native Ameicans in the Carolinas were reciepients of the tomahawk concessions, the ther was silence. More denegating to the team would be to call them the Senators ot Congressmen!

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  12. ivanhoe292 May 20, 2016 at 1:48 pm

    Native Americans…irrelevant.

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  13. minaka May 20, 2016 at 4:12 pm

    Isn’t it “cultural appropriation” for white libs to bang on about supposed “racism” toward Natives when 90% of Natives themselves don’t feel that way? Talk about being patronizing, setting oneself up as the Great White Father Who Knows Best for poor little Natives!

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  14. jrchambers May 20, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Good. Now, let us move on to some more important issues. Issues that are not a waste of time. Issues that will continue to defend the freedoms of all American people, including those who run legitimate businesses. “The business of America is business.” (Calvin Coolidge)

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  15. DrGadget May 20, 2016 at 7:35 pm

    Never underestimate the Left’s ability to find ways to be offended. They get offended on behalf of other people. How noble…

    EDIT: I originally said “reasons to be offended”, but reason has nothing to do with it.

    Anyone remember in 1996 when Perot was running for Prez? He gave a speech at the NAACP (big mistake) and admitted that “you people” have problems and he wants to help fix them. They got super offended at the term “you people” and made him look like a racist. I had a black friend at work who told me how offensive that was.

    I asked him, what should Perot have said, “us people”, as he was black too? He said, no.

    I said, OK then what would be the right term? What could he have said that wouldn’t be offensive?

    (stupid look)

    Democrats are constantly looking for excuses, however thin, to be offended.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser May 21, 2016 at 2:08 am

      I have also seen that happen before.. Such as when a speaker on base talking to a group of people at a black heritage month meeting, said thank you people for getting this all set up. He got reported to the EO office for saying “you people’>. He asked them what he should have said.. They replied “just say all of you” next time….

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  16. disqus_AtJR8bthVu May 20, 2016 at 9:02 pm

    Another non issue liberals use to deflect Americans from focusing on 0bama’s failures. Shagging the dog are diversion tactics that include transgender issues and climate change.

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  17. bigo May 21, 2016 at 1:40 am

    The use of any Native American name for a sports team reminds me of the brave nations that took on their opponents even if their opponent was superior in weapons or supplies. To drop these names from the great sports teams is to diminish the courage of these heroic people and possibly to change the significance of their historic battles to protect their lands! My advice is to keep the terms that depict Native Americans warriors and to recognize them as a sign of a courageous people!

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  18. drfishbine May 21, 2016 at 8:11 pm

    The only ones who are offended are pissant, uptight, pathetic liberals.

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  19. godgivenrights May 22, 2016 at 8:34 pm

    “I don’t accept self-identification,” Harjo.

    Another liberal smear tactic. If you don’t agree with the perverse liberal position then you are not qualified to have an opinion on the issue.

    They cannot win the argument through honest debate and logic. They must insult and degenerate their opposition.

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    • ltuser
      ltuser May 23, 2016 at 4:53 pm

      That seems to be the ONLY way liberals can get things done. Badmouth, slander and bully all those opposing their ways into silence, while indoctrinating the new generation(s) into seeing their way as acceptable.
      IMO that is why the LGBTQ mafia has pushed to get their tennents taught to Kindergardeners…

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