As part of its “Change the Mascot Campaign,” the Oneida Indian Nation has released a poll showing that if the Washington Redskins changed its name, 55 percent said that it would not affect their support of the football team; 25 percent disagreed, saying that changing the team's name would lessen their support.
The poll also showed that 59 percent of respondents believe that Native Americans have a right to feel offended if called “Redskins.”
"You cannot poll morality, and our hope is that Mr. Snyder will demonstrate true leadership and change the offensive name, not because of what any public opinion studies show, but because it's the right thing to do," said Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter in a news release, referring to NFL owner Daniel Snyder. "However, this polling information is valuable because it shows that the team has nothing to fear economically by changing its name. In fact, the data indicates that the team stands to actually gain support from its fans by finally making the right decision and changing the name.”
This poll comes as some have criticized the accuracy of the polling released by the Redskins, who have relied on several polls to defend their name. In Snyder’s recent letter to season-ticket holders, he cited an Annenberg poll from 2004, which in part said that Native American groups support the team’s name.
The NFL and the Oneidas expect to have a meeting in coming weeks and 77% of the respondents in this new poll said they felt Snyder should attend.
"As proud sponsors of the NFL, we want to see the league succeed and hope that the Washington team will finally take this important step, which would reflect positively on them and the NFL," Halbritter said.
The poll, which was conducted by SurveyUSA, has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4%.