Support for 'Redskins' name strong, but has declined over two decades

Howard Smith-USA TODAY Sports

The Redskins have insisted they aren't considering changing their name, but a recent poll showed support for the team's nickname has decreased.

A national poll conducted for the Associated Press revealed the majority of Americans support the Washington Redskins keeping their nickname, but support has decreased over the last 21 years.

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An Associated Press-GfK telephone poll of 1,004 adults showed 79 percent of Americans are in favor of the team keeping its current nickname. While still a majority, that number is a 10 percent decline from the 89 percent who supported the nickname in the last national poll, which was conducted in 1992.

While 79 percent support the nickname, 11 percent think it should be changed with 8 percent unsure and 2 percent choosing to not answer. According to the report, 18 percent of nonwhite football fans said the name should change compared to 9 percent of white football fans.

Some consider the nickname to be derogatory to Native Americans and have criticized the organization for refusing to consider a change. A number of politicians have come out in opposition of the nickname recently, including David Grosso, a D.C. Council member who is preparing to introduce a resolution calling for the team to change its name. Grosso offers the Washington Redtails as one potential alternative. Even if the resolution passed, the council would not have the authority to force the team to change the name.

Despite growing support for a change, not everyone believes the nickname needs to be changed.

"That's who they've been forever. That's who they're known as," one poll respondent said. "I think we as a people make race out to be a bigger issue than it is."

Whatever the support for the nickname is, the team and the NFL don't appear to be considering a change. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and general manager Bruce Allen said the team isn't considering a change. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell has publicly supported the team's stance on keeping its name.

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