A new poll found that the overwhelming majority of Native Americans are not bothered by the Washington Redskins’ nickname, which has been the source of controversy and the focus of an effort by activists to get the name changed.
ESPN reports that the poll by The Washington Post poll found that 90% of Native Americans aren’t offended by the nickname and most consider the issue to be unimportant.
“The Post polled 504 people who identify primarily as Native American from across the country, including those who lived on reservations and those who were not part of a tribe,” ESPN reports. “The general population appears to care more about the name than Native Americans. A 2014 ESPN poll found that 23 percent of the population favored a name change.”
In the Post poll, 78% of respondents said the issue of the Redskins name is either “not too” or “not at all” important.
Activists who are fighting to get the team’s name changed rejected the survey results and vowed to continue their efforts.
In a statement released by Change the Mascot, National Congress of American Indians executive director Jackie Pata and Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter said: “The results of this poll confirm a reality that is encouraging but hardly surprising: Native Americans are resilient and have not allowed the NFL’s decades-long denigration of us to define our own self-image. 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.”