The Washington Redskins might have a controversial nickname, but that doesn't mean they should change it, at least according to the general public. In an AP poll of 1,004 adults conducted in mid-April, an overwhelming 79 percent of respondents favored the Redskins keeping their nickname.
On the other end of the spectrum, 11 percent of respondents said the team should change it's nickname, 8 percent weren't sure and 2 percent didn't answer. The poll had a sampling error of plus or minus 3.9 percentage points.
Although 79 percent sounds like a landslide in favor of the Redskins, it's actually a 10-percent drop since the last time a poll was taken on the team's nickname. In a 1992 poll, 89 percent of respondents said the name should not be changed.
One of the poll-takers who was in favor of the Redskins keeping their nickname, cited tradition, "That's who they've been forever. That's who they're known as," said one respondent from Osceola, Ind. "I think we as a people make race out to be a bigger issue than it is."
Another respondent called changing the Redskins name a 'no-brainer.'
"With everything that Native Americans have gone through in this country, to have a sports team named the Redskins - come on, now. It's bad," said a respondent from Boston. "Much farther down the road, we're going to look back on this and say, 'Are you serious? Did they really call them the Washington Redskins?' It's a no-brainer."
The Redskins name is so controversial that the Kansas City Star doesn't use it in print, a policy that will probably get more national recognition as we inch closer to December and the Chiefs Week 14 game at Washington.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and his lawyers may end up fighting in court to keep the team's nickname, but he'll do it knowing he's already won in one court: the court of public opinion.
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