AP Poll: Four in Five Americans Wouldn't Change Redskins Name


According to a new Associated Press-Gfk poll, the name “Redskins” still enjoys widespread support. Nearly four in five Americans don’t think the team should change its name, the survey found. Only 11 percent think it should be changed, while 8 percent weren’t sure and 2 percent didn’t answer.

Although 79 percent favor keeping the name, that does represent a 10 percentage point drop from the last national poll on the subject, conducted in 1992 by The Washington Post and ABC News just before the team won its most recent Super Bowl. Then, 89 percent said the name should not be changed, and 7 percent said it should.

The AP-GfK poll was conducted from April 11-15 and included interviews with 1,004 adults on both land lines and cell phones. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.

Among football fans, 11 percent said the name should be changed — the same as among non-fans. Among nonwhite football fans, 18 percent said it should change, about double the percentage of white football fans who oppose the name. The AP does not report further demographic breakdown, such as the number of American Indians polled.

Pressure continues to build against the use of the term, considered racist by many Native Americans, and it's being taken up by the U.S. Congress, as well as the D.C. City Council. Its use is also the subject of a trademark lawsuit, a decision in which could be made anytime.

But, at least according to this AP poll, the majority of America doesn't find the use of the term a problem. “That’s who they’ve been forever. That’s who they’re known as,” Sarah Lee, a 36-year-old stay-at-home mom from Osceola, Indiana, told the AP. “I think we as a people make race out to be a bigger issue than it is.”



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NiMiiPuu's picture
Submitted by NiMiiPuu on
I have been a Redskins fan since the 80's when I started getting into NFL football. I was estatic when they beat the Cowboys in the '92 Super Bowl. When I used to attend the AISES Conferences back in the 90's when I was in college, there was the anti-Redskins sentiment from the AISES BOD, especially when the Nat. Conf. was held in Virginia/D.C. area. I would support a name change, no arguement here! But the main reason I had been a Redskins fan all these years since Joe Theisman, was that my grandfather was also a Redskins fan. He was a full blood Nez Perce, a WWII veteran, and survivor of the Bataan Death March. He and his uncle (also Nez Perce) were among those captured and sentenced to the Japanese prison camps. During the infamous march, his uncle died. My grandfather was in Japan as a POW working in underground mines when the atomic bombs were dropped. He said that they felt the "boom" underground when one of them went off. He passed away in the early 90's, but we both were fans of the Redskins. Even though of the negative context the name portrays on American Indian people, to me, I enjoyed having some cultural representation in the NFL other than the Kansas City Chiefs. I have since changed my dedication to the NFL. I no longer have a favorite team since most of my favorite players have long since retired. If they change it to the Redtails, interpretation could go many different ways. They could still keep the Indian head logo without offense, or refer it to the Tuskeegee Airmen. Either way, I would support it.

j.ahler's picture
Submitted by j.ahler on
Did they really have to take a poll to discover this? Most Americans don't possess enough history to know that "Redskin" was used in overtly denigrating circumstances. People tend to ascribe meaning to the term outside of its historic, social, & political context. To many Native Americans & others, the hurtful and demeaning context cannot & should not be forgotten.

Damian Charette's picture
Damian Charette
Submitted by Damian Charette on
I'm an Art and Cultural Specialist in behavioral Health , I'm also Crow and Turtle Mountain metchiff. I don't like the name because of the history behind it and the racist people out and the ignorance of others who no little to nothing about native americans.

Anonymous's picture
Submitted by Anonymous on
Iam Northern Arapaho change the fucking name!!! Or get sum IEDs on your next home game!!!

billy osborn's picture
billy osborn
Submitted by billy osborn on
When some one growing up see's this, it raises questions, and with these questions comes knowledge, I am Tlinget and I have answers to many questions. I see opportunity to educate with these tools such as the Redskins. We are in this to go forward and I welcome any questions. I have many my self.

Scott Sands's picture
Scott Sands
Submitted by Scott Sands on
Damn, white ingrates ALWAYS using OUR image or Name to go hand - in hand with something that suppose to represent power ..WHY?

Gene n Landrum, PhQ, Quantum Theory's picture
Gene n Landrum,...
Submitted by Gene n Landrum,... on
Being a 'mixed breed' of two American (Native Tribes) if I had a choice, I would drop the 'miss applied' word, "Indian" from our Native Authentication! Why, in Our Native World, do we accept a Spaniard Nomenclature for a Whole Race of Red Skinned, Natives regardless how they arrived on the North American Continent!! Perhaps, 'Garden of Eden' existed before the Continents drifted apart! This is a 'truth' based on reality of Continental Drift, AKA Plate Tectonics! This 'Theory' has now, (1964) been 'empirically' proven and was just a 'scientist' of Quantum before his time and ridiculed by his peers. now who is laughing?! President Clinton, made a 'prophetic' statement (unless he stole it)"What is, 'is'?" Think about it! What is it? It is, 'Is'! Or is it? Dr Geno n Landrum, PhQ, Quantum Theory of Everything and stickin' to it! "It?"

Dale Hamilton's picture
Dale Hamilton
Submitted by Dale Hamilton on
I love football just as much as anyone, if they change the redskins name I will still love it. I followed the Redskins when John Riggins played and of course Joe Theisman. Bottom Line is we do not need to demean ourselves and let the Neoo 3o's use us as mascots. I stand up for the native americans and hopefully all the brothers will too. We cant re-write history however we can change things for the better. Its seems we have to constantly educate people. I mean 99% of history books on us got it wrong, we need to tell our own story.

Roger Wolf's picture
Roger Wolf
Submitted by Roger Wolf on
What would the Great Indian Chiefs do if they heard 10,000 Fans screaming :we want the Redskins to win? They would smile and join in! Any Real Indian would say KEEP THE REDSKINS NAME !