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New Study Finds 67% Of Native Americans Find Redskins Name Offensive

In January, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell claimed 9/10 Native Americans support the name.

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A recent study by the California State University, San Bernadino reports 67% of Native Americans find the Washington Redskins name and imagery racist. / Via

12 percent of Native respondents were neutral and 20 percent disagreed. In contrast, 60 percent of white respondents do not find the name racist. When asked if they found the term "disrespectful," the number of positive respondents rose to 68%.


James Fenelon, a professor of sociology and Director of the Center for Indigenous Peoples Studies at CSUSB polled respondents individually, in order to substantiate their Native ancestry. / Via

Fenelon prioritized the verification of Native identification while collecting more than 400 surveys. He told Indian Country Today Media Network that for him, this means the respondent is an "active enrolled member of a tribal group."

The survey found the use of the term by non-Indians was seen as racist by 65.5% of Native respondents, whereas only 17.8% do not believe it is racist.

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

In contrast, 42% of white and 38% of Latino respondents said it was racist or unacceptable to use the term.

An oft-cited 2004 survey had claimed only 9% of Native Americans found the name Redskins offensive, but the methodology has been criticized. Tribal status was not verified and Alaska, which has a significant Native population was excluded.

The opposition to the name has also grown exponentially in recent months. Recently, fifty Senators sent a letter requesting the name be changed. This lead to the team asking Twitter users to tweet at Senator Harry Reid about what the name means to them, which backfired spectacularly.

Goodell himself cited the study during a Super Bowl press conference in January.

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