According to a new Associated Press-Gfk poll, the name “Redskins” still enjoys widespread 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.
Although 79 percent favor keeping the name, that does represent a 10 percentage point drop from the last national poll on the subject, conducted in 1992 by The Washington Post and ABC News just before the team won its most recent Super Bowl. Then, 89 percent said the name should not be changed, and 7 percent said it should.
The AP-GfK poll was conducted from April 11-15 and included interviews with 1,004 adults on both land lines and cell phones. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
Among football fans, 11 percent said the name should be changed — the same as among non-fans. Among nonwhite football fans, 18 percent said it should change, about double the percentage of white football fans who oppose the name. The AP does not report further demographic breakdown, such as the number of American Indians polled.
Pressure continues to build against the use of the term, considered racist by many Native Americans, and it's being taken up by the U.S. Congress, as well as the D.C. City Council. Its use is also the subject of a trademark lawsuit, a decision in which could be made anytime.
But, at least according to this AP poll, the majority of America doesn't find the use of the term a problem. “That’s who they’ve been forever. That’s who they’re known as,” Sarah Lee, a 36-year-old stay-at-home mom from Osceola, Indiana, told the AP. “I think we as a people make race out to be a bigger issue than it is.”