October 16, 2013

Poll: "Redskins" is offensive to Indians

Poll: Majority see why Redskins name offensive

By Erik BradyThe Oneida Indian Nation commissioned a poll that shows 59% of adults in the Washington region say that American Indians would have a right to feel offended if called "redskin."

The poll, scheduled to be released Wednesday, also showed that if the Washington pro football club changed its name, 55% said it would not affect their support for the team while 25% said it would lessen their support and 18% said it would increase it.
And:"You cannot poll morality, and our hope is that Mr. Snyder will demonstrate true leadership and change the offensive name, not because of what any public opinion studies show, but because it's the right thing to do," Oneida Indian Nation representative Ray Halbritter said in a statement. "However, this polling information is valuable because it shows that the team has nothing to fear economically by changing its name."

The poll showed that even among those who identified themselves as fans of the Washington team, as opposed to fans of another team or no team, 46% said a name change would not lessen their support while 30% said it would make them less of a fan and 23% said it would make them more of a fan.
The survey data in detail:

Results of SurveyUSA News Poll #20802

Comment:  Finally a poll asks the right questions. You can pretty much ignore the previous polls that didn't ask these questions.

Two of the key questions are:

If the name of the team were changed, would you be ... more of a fan of the team than you are now? Less of a fan of the team than you are now? Or would it make no difference to you either way?

Forgetting for the moment about the football team, and just thinking about the word itself ... if someone referred to a Native American person as a "redskin," do you think that Native American person would have the right to feel offended?

The first question addresses the issue of whether self-pitying Redskins fans actually care about the nickname. Answer: No. Seventy-three percent would have the same or more appreciation of the team with a new name.

The second question addresses the issue of whether the nickname is offensive to Indians. In contrast, the typical poll asks whether the name offends you--who is probably a non-Native fan. Well, who cares what you think if you're not an Indian? Fifty-nine percent agree the name is offensive to Indians; another 18% aren't sure.

As we've seen, the only substantive argument that Dan Snyder and his lawyer Lanny Davis have is the previous polls. Oops. This just ended the substance of their arguments.

All they have left is "the ethnic slur is a longstanding tradition" and "we didn't intend to insult Indians with an ethnic slur." These are weak to the point of nonexistence.

To reiterate, a majority thinks "Redskins" is offensive to Indians. End of story.

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