By Erik Brady
According to a survey that asked this question, 83% of Americans said no, they would not, while 9% said they would and 8% declined comment.
Most of those surveyed knew about the controversy over the Washington NFL club's team name: 93% of NFL fans and 85% of all Americans, according to the survey for the National Congress of American Indians and goodness Mfg., a creative agency based in Los Angeles.
The survey results are based on 1,020 interviews conducted online Aug. 28-31 among a demographically representative sample by Online Caravan, an omnibus service of ORC International.
By Travis Waldron
There is, however, a divide also between finding the name offensive and thinking it should be changed. While 83 percent said they’d never use the word to a Native American’s face and 39 percent overall said it was offensive to Native Americans, just 25 percent said the name should change.
As Native Americans continue to fight the name, though, that may change. The poll showed that most respondents were aware of the battle over the name, and the 25 percent overall opposition is higher than in some older polls conducted around the issue. 35 percent of the 18-to-34 age group said it should be changed, and the poll also found that 13 percent of respondents changed their opinion of whether the team should keep it once they learned it was defined as a slur.
“Our study proves how important context is to behavior. On one hand, group mentality makes people think using the r-word is okay. But on the other hand, when a person comes face to face with a Native American, it’s not,” said D’nae Kingsley, the head of integrated strategy at goodness Mfg. “This dichotomy can be explained by several factors including fan blindness and lack of awareness of the definition of the r-word.”