AP Poll Shows 4 in 5 Americans Don’t Think The Redskins Should Change Their Name


WASHINGTON (AP) — It’s been a rough offseason for the Washington Redskins, and not just because of the knee injury to star quarterback Robert Griffin III.

The team’s nickname has faced a new barrage of criticism for being offensive to Native Americans. Local leaders and pundits have called for a name change. Opponents have launched a legal challenge intended to deny the team federal trademark protection. A bill introduced in Congress in March would do the same, though it appears unlikely to pass.

But a new Associated Press-GfK poll shows that nationally, “Redskins” still enjoys wide support. Nearly four in five Americans don’t think the team should change its name, the survey found. Only 11 percent think it should be changed, while 8 percent weren’t sure and 2 percent didn’t answer.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nfl/news/20130502/washington-redskins-nickname.ap/#ixzz2SePBnGJ2

How do you feel about the term Redskins for a team name?  Do you think it’s offensive?  Does any time someone say something is offensive we have to change terms just because they say it’s so?  At what point do we draw the line?

Just like the Father who complained to Lego because a sticker in a Lego construction set featured a Lego figurine with the words “Hey Babe”

The horror.

I’ve been told that some women can’t stand to be called “Honey”  I’ totally get that I’m a Neanderthal but as long as I’ve used the term Honey I’ve never intended it to be offensive and can’t recall ever getting a dirty look in return.  Maybe it’s in the delivery.  Maybe the women I say it to when they hand me my coffee are cursing my Neanderthal ass under their breath at me.  I usually get a nice smile back though.  Maybe if it’s Chester the Molester tossing out the term “Honey”  they are more likely to get the creepy dude look back.

Where do you stand on Redskins Team Name and Where do you stand on the term Honey?


  • Fluffernutter

    I think the name Redskins it’s akin to having a team called the Detroit Niggers, Phoenix Wetbacks, Gloucester Guineas, etc., etc. It’s not The Braves or The Seminoles, it’s a derogatory term for a Native American, pure and simple.

    Haven’t these people had their face rubbed in the shit enough? The nation’s capital has to slur them with the name of their football team?! C’mon, it’s just not acceptable. If there was a sizable Native American population in this country, the name would never fly.


      • This is simply one person’s opinion. How about you do a poll of Native Americans? I think you would get a very different result.


        • I guess one had been conducted already-

          Is the Redskins Name Offensive to Native Americans?

          What do Native Americans themselves think?

          This is where it gets kind of odd. In actuallity, less than 18% of Native Americans are offended by Indian Mascots in pro sports. In a March 4, 2002 Sports Illustrated 7 page editorial entitled “The Indian Wars”, a poll was conducted amongst Native Americans. Surprisingly, the following information was gathered

          “Asked if high school and college teams should stop using Indian nicknames, 81% of Native American respondents said no. As for pro sports, 83% of Native American respondents said teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots, characters and symbols.”

          This begs the question: If it doesn’t bother Native Americans, why are so many non Indians taking up a fight against Indian mascots in pro sports? The answer is rather odd, but could be attributed to the misunderstanding of the real meaning of Redskin, or it could simply be moral guilt. This is our attempt to make amends for something we were never a part of and could not control. The compaign against the Native American by the United States was a dark part of our nation’s history. Perhaps this is the reason for today’s offense towards the use of Indian mascots.

          Most Native Americans are not only not offended, they’re actually fans!

          The odd thing is that not only are most Native Americans not offended, but they a large number of them are actually fans. For a number of Native Americans, the Redskin image itself is of a proud chief and it bestows pride and accomplishment. It is not a caricature of an Indian. In fact, what truly offends Native Americans are caricatures, such as the big nose of the Cleveland Indians logo, or the tomahawk chop of the Altanta Braves.
          There is an interesting angle on how Native Americans view indians as mascots. In Montreal Canada, McGill university is one of North America’s most prestigious educational institutions. Between 1982 to 1992, both its football and hockey teams had an Aboriginal Chief in full head gear as their Mascot. An Aboriginal in Canada is simply a Native American in the United States. The team name is “Redmen”. The university decided to stop using the mascot at the request of a non-Aboriginal student. Before the decision was reached, the University consulted with the Chief of the First Nations in Canada and with an Aboriginal team member, Both were fine with the use of the mascot and actually wrote letters attesting to their support. If you want to read the article, it is attached here.



  • Redskins and War Paint
    Red Was the Color of War

    The image is of William “Lone Star” Dietz, whose mother was a full blooded Sioux Indian. Dietz was the first coach of the Redskins football team, and it was in his honor that the team was named “Redskins”. He brought a number of Indian players with him to the team and they wore war paint and Indian bonnets at games.

    There seems to be no etymological evidence that the word “redskin” originally meant anything other than “an aborigine with red skin”. According to Take Our Word For It, the earliest recorded use of the word was found in a quotation from 1699: “Ye firste Meetinge House was solid mayde to withstande ye wicked onsaults of ye Red Skins.”

    Most people assume that the word described the natural skin color of the North American Indians. However, there exists documentation that the name “redskin” was conferred upon the native inhabitants by the English Colonists because of the red body paint they wore in battle. Because the 1699 quotation would certainly be referring to Indian warriors, this seems to be the most likely explanation of the origin of “redskin”..

    Some say the term is disparaging. The “Webster’s Third New International Dictionary”, Unabridged, 1976, gives “a North American Indian” and nothing more. The Oxford English says “redskin” is “generally benign”. If the origin of the word had to do with painted warriors in battle, I find it suspect that it would have become an insult. Yet, beginning about 1967, dictionaries began to describe it as “usually offensive”.


  • Redskin: Linguistic Controversy.

    In the chapter “Scandalous and Disparaging” from her book, Dancing at Halftime, Carol Spindel discusses the word redskin and its unique and strange position in modern English language and culture. While this is all debated in the context of the word’s use as a name for a professional football team, the Washington Redskins, a larger, and debatably more significant issue is raised: how should the word redskin be classified in modern English? Spindel attempts to answer this question by consulting her two dictionaries. The first, the third edition of the American Heritage Dictionary (1992), states that redskin is “offensive slang” that is “used as a disparaging term for a Native American” (Spindel 204). The second, an older dictionary, Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1980), suggests that the terms redskin and “American Indian” are interchangeable synonyms. What becomes clear is that the answer to the question “how should the word redskin be classified in modern English?” will not be an easy one.


  • Here’s the thing: if the people who are directly affected by the designation (native Americans and women) think it’s offensive, it’s offensive. Those of us outside of the affected group don’t get to decide that.


    • In all seriousness what if 1% or 10% or 20% find it offensive and the rest do not? What if 1 or 10 or 20 % do but they raise the biggest stink?

      I think it’s an interesting question.


      • Depends on who the 1 or 10 or 20 are. White people? I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that more than 20% of Native Americans think Redskins is offensive. And, let’s remember who wrote the dictionaries: white guys!!!


        • Well honestly I’m not sure. Maybe the vast majority are and maybe they’re not. It would be interesting to see an impartial poll on that.


        • My point is that the “vast majority” would have to be comprised of Native Americans. Again, as a white woman, I believe I don’t have the “authority”, if you will, to have an opinion that matters. It’s not my call. Similarly, as a white woman, I am not entitled to decide whether something my black friend says is racist, is not. I can’t possibly know what it is like to be that person. So, I respect and accept their position.


        • Like I said I’d like to see an impartial poll of a lot of Indians.


    • Yes, I totally agree with you on this. Unfortunately for Joey, there is no scientific percentage of people who are offended to back this up. It’s just something you gotta feel out. If you REALLY don’t think that the term redskin is offensive, then next time you are in northern Maine, or at Foxwoods, just call someone you think looks “Indian” a redskin. If you get your nose broken, then that’s your answer.


  • Fluffernutter

    Well, you have one guy on film, who seems to have some sort of Native American background speaking on the subject. Does that mean he knows what he is talking about? No, no it doesn’t. Just because you are of Italian or Irish or English heritage, does that mean you know anything about Italian, Irish, or English history? No, no it doesn’t.

    Then there is an article that describes why British colonists called Native Americans “Redskins” because of the red paint that they wore on their bodies. So what? It is not up to you to tell others what they find offensive. The word nigger is derived from the Latin word niger, which means black. So, it must okay then to call African Americans nigger then, right? I mean, you’re just describing the way they look after all.

    You can understand how the situation might be more complicated than the word redskin lets on, no? There’s the whole history of slavery, ethnic cleansing, and concentration camps (reservations) that is wrapped up in this. That all makes it a bit more complicated.

    But, I think that I am with you on one point: European Americans should NOT be making the call as to whether Redskin is an offensive term. I’m assuming that’s why you posted the first video. Personally, I have always thought that redskin was an offensive term. However, I may be completely wrong, and I’m always up for being proved wrong…it can be a valuable learning experience.


  • It’s an interesting conversation and similar to ones that happen on occasion in Kansas City, re the Chiefs–war paint, red faces, war calls, etc. I grew up in central Illinois, not far from the town of Pekin–“Home of the Pekin Chinks”. For as long as I can remember there was controversy surrounding the name and it was finally dropped in 1980, which made little difference in its continued casual use. For an excellent review on mascoting with perceived derogatory ethnic terms: http://cardinalscholar.bsu.edu/bitstream/123456789/195194/1/LananeJ_2011-1_BODY.pdf


  • The persecution that us white males are facing in thing society is really upsetting. We can’t walk down the street now without someone wanting to change the name of our professional sports teams. Yes, I’m being sarcastic.


  • I think Patsy makes the right point -what do the American Indians think? However, if the article that Joe submits saying the majority of American Indians are not offended is correct, then I think this answers Patsy’s point.
    Bob C.


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