Associated Press

67 Percent of Native Americans Say ‘Redskins’ Is Offensive

Rachael Johnson

Joe Feagin, the Ella C. McFadden and distinguished professor in the department of sociology at Texas A&M University, who has worked with Fenelon, agrees. “One key to the fallacious polls is that a great many whites claim Native ancestry, especially when anonymously called. In evaluating typical national random sample surveys, the key question about the survey is who are the ‘Native’ Americans they surveyed? A great many white Americans, for example, claim Native American ancestry (including my Scotch-Irish rural grandfather), with either no evidence or credibility or very tiny ancestry generations back.”

Fenelon and Feagin said that the only Natives who should be polled in a serious survey are those who are “active enrolled members of tribal groups.” In other words, there appears to be no evidence that the 768 persons polled were even enrolled members of a tribe. And it’s this fact that some polling might bleed with inaccuracies.

"This is the first such survey to know that the respondents were and are actually Native people," Fenelon said of his 'Redskins' survey which was conducted similarly to the one back in 1995.

“My poll numbers on whites and other groups are probably accurate,” Fenelon said. “[But] their polling with Natives is clearly off.”

RELATED D.C. Fans Support Changing Offensive 'Redskins' Name

But, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder says the results of the AP poll are “solidly in line with the message we have heard from fans and Native Americans for months” and “we respect the point of view of the small number of people who seek a name change, but it is important to recognize very few people agree with the case they are making.”

RELATED Article Refutes Snyder’s Claim That ‘Redskins’ Named to Honor Natives

But Feagin says that this is the point that Snyder needs clarification on. “One can say to Snyder, ‘If some number of Jews today do not find 'kike' offensive to them, would you still name your football team 'kike'?" And why do you ignore the views of most major Native American rights organizations on this matter? Don't they count in this discussion? And why have you not studied Native American history and contacted major scholars on these issues for their views of how the R-word has been used by whites for racist reasons, historically?”

Feagin, a leading scholar on Native racial and ethnic issues and a Pulitzer Prize nominee, questioned why no one had contacted him.


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Shadowwolf480's picture
Submitted by Shadowwolf480 on
The chief financial officer with the WA team was still quoting that 10 year old bogus and doctored up survey to the Mid-Atlantic Methodist Church leader, whose vast congregation is scheduled to vote on a boycott measure, come June 14th. I'm sure the self-described "Indians" who participated in that 10 year old survey, were actual WA team fans. That survey is as fake as the products made in China. He then put on 3 brothers from the Blackfeet Nation to egregiously speak for all of Indian Country. Lamely, implying that the team name was not offensive. I applaud this professor's study. But deep down, I also know that the numbers are actually higher. There is no doubt that there are a lot of Natives out there (I included) who strongly oppose the WA team name to the fullest degree possible, who are not included in any surveys. The change the mascot movement is just too vast to ignore. The few "Injuns" who sold out, such as the 3 brothers from the Blackfeet Nation, are wholly insignificant.