Culture

A New Study Finds That The Vast Majority Of Native Americans Aren’t Offended By ‘Redskins’

Tennessee Titans v Washington Redskins
Getty Image

The national debate about whether Washington’s NFL team should change its Redskins nickname has been ongoing for years. There’s been a somewhat significant recent push to get the team to change its moniker — held since 1933 — but team owner Dan Snyder says he’ll never change the name and insists that it’s intended to honor Native Americans, not disrespect them.

And, according to a new study by the Washington Post, most Native Americans still say they aren’t bothered by the name. Despite the resurgence of pressure to move away from Redskins, a new poll from WaPo determined that 9 out of 10 Native Americans don’t find the name offensive.

Among the Native Americans reached over a five-month period ending in April, more than 7 in 10 said they did not feel the word “Redskin” was disrespectful to Indians. An even higher number — 8 in 10 — said they would not be offended if a non-native called them that name.

The Post report also included a variety of responses from Native Americans on how they feel regarding the name. There are those who liked it:

“I’m proud of being Native American and of the Redskins,” said Barbara Bruce, a Chippewa teacher who has lived on a North Dakota reservation most of her life. “I’m not ashamed of that at all. I like that name.”

There are those who don’t care:

“The name is nothing to me,” said Jarvis Michael Horn, a 39-year-old member of the Winnebago Tribe who works at a corner grocery store in Iowa.

There are those who feel that even if the population’s minority were offended, then it should still be changed:

“It’s about respect,” Marshall’s descendant, Jordan Wright, told The Post two years ago. “If even one person tells you that name — that word you used — offends them, then that’s enough. That should be enough.”

Others didn’t believe the minority should get to speak for everyone:

“It’s 100 people okay with the situation, and one person has a problem with it, and all of a sudden everyone has to conform,” said New York resident Judy Ann Joyner, 64, a retired nurse whose grandmother was part-Shawnee and part-Wyandot. “You’ll find people who don’t like puppies and kittens and Santa Claus. It doesn’t mean we’re going to wipe them off the face of the earth.”

And, finally, there are those who believe strongly the name needs to go:

“I don’t want to ever have my son experience anything like that,” she said. “It’s time to change. It’s time to move on.”

Who knows if the poll will have an effect on campaigns to switch the Redskins’ name, but at the very least Snyder now has fresher data of public opinion to reference when he’s forced to defend his stance.

(Via Washington Post)

×