Nearly three-fourths of Americans favor letting the Washington Redskins keep their nickname, but the percentage who think it should be changed has tripled in the past two decades, according to a poll conducted by Langer Research for “Outside the Lines.”
Nearly a quarter (23 percent) of Americans surveyed now think the name should be changed, up from 8 percent in 1992 and up 9 percentage points in the past year alone.
The poll of 1,019 Americans, conducted on landlines and cellphones between Aug. 20 and Aug. 24, found that 71 percent favor keeping the nickname — but that’s down from 89 percent when the question was first asked 22 years ago. It also found that 68 percent of people responding think the nickname is not disrespectful of Native Americans, compared to just 9 percent who say it is “a lot” disrespectful. (Nineteen percent say it shows “some” disrespect.)
A total of 54 percent of respondents think the name is unlikely to be changed, compared to 42 percent who think it will. (The rest had no opinion.)
Calls to change the team’s nickname have increased recently.
In June, the United States Patent and Trademark Office canceled the team’s trademarks in a 2-1 ruling on the basis that they are “disparaging to Native Americans.” The team has appealed the ruling and has said it is confident it will be overturned.
Several politicians have urged NFL commissioner Roger Goodell to force team owner Dan Snyder to change the name, including Attorney General Eric Holder, Sen. Harry Reid and former secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton. President Barack Obama said last year that if he owned the Redskins, “I’d think about changing [the name].”
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