Most Native Americans in a Poll Are Fine With the Washington Redskins Name

May 19, 2016, 7:28 PM UTC
Detroit Lions v Washington Redskins
of the Washington Redskins against the Detroit Lions at FedExField on September 22, 2013 in Landover, Maryland.
Photograph by G Fiume—Getty Images

A majority of Native Americans are apparently fine with the controversial name of the Washington Redskins NFL team.

In fact, 9 out of 10 Native Americans who were asked said the term was fine, according to the Washington Post, which conducted a survey of over 500 individuals across the country. The poll shows that the opinions of Native Americans has been mostly unchanged since a similar poll was conducted in 2004, the publication noted.

As part of the survey, respondents were asked over a five-month period that ended in April whether or not they felt the word “Redskin” was disrespectful. Notably, seven in 10 said that it was not an issue, while eight in 10 said that they wouldn’t be offended if called a “redskin.”

The poll results come after years of controversy over the sports team’s name as activists have pushed owner Dani Snyder to change it to something more politically correct. Fortune even got into the mix by offering up a new name for the team, which was written about in 2014.


After seeing the poll results, the Redskins management team celebrated. “The Washington Redskins team, our fans and community have always believed our name represents honor, respect and pride,” Snyder said in a statement. “Today’s Washington Post polling shows Native Americans agree. We are gratified by this overwhelming support from the Native American community, and the team will proudly carry the Redskins name.”

But Suzan Harjo, who is the lead plaintiff in the legal battle challenging the team’s name and federal trademarks, offered a different response. “I just reject the results,” said Harjo, who is a member of the Cheyenne and Hodulgee Muscogee tribes. “I don’t agree with them, and I don’t agree that this is valid way of surveying public opinion in Indian Country.”