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Poll Finds More People Want the Redskins to Change Their Name
A survey finds 71 percent of people say the team should not change its name, down from 79 percent less than a year ago. By Benjamin Freed
Never say "NEVER" again? Photograph by Carol Ross Joynt.
Comments () | Published January 3, 2014

The Redskins are touting the results of a new poll that says a majority of Americans do not think the team should change its name, even though the number of people who feel that way is actually shrinking from previous surveys.

In a poll released yesterday by Public Policy Polling, 71 percent of respondents say the team should not get rid of its current name, which many, including definitions in several mainstream dictionaries, consider a racial slur. That’s down from the 79 percent who told the Associated Press the same thing last May. The number of people who think the team should change its name, meanwhile, is up, with 18 percent telling Public Policy Polling that Washington’s NFL team should get a new moniker, up from 11 percent in the AP poll.

Still, the team, looking for any blue sky after a woeful 3-13 season, is strongly touting the show of support for its name. “The results of this poll are solidly in line with the message we have heard from fans and Native Americans for months—our name represents a tradition, passion and heritage that honors Native Americans,” the franchise said in a statement.

The Oneida Indian Nation, a tribe from Upstate New York that sponsored a season-long publicity campaign urging the Washington team to get a new name, blasted the poll.

“This flawed poll conveniently leaves out that fact that the R-word is a defined racial slur, and it fails to mention that a diverse coalition of Native American organizations, civil-rights groups, public-health organizations, religious leaders and sports icons have been joined by governors, the D.C. Council, Republican and Democratic Members of Congress and even the President of the United States in saying that now is the time for the mascot to change,” said Oneida spokesman Joel Barkin. “Neither the Washington team nor its owner appears to understand that there is no poll or financial transaction that can solve a moral problem.”

Dan Snyder loudly said last year that he will never change the team’s name, but if the trend continues, the Washington team’s owner may one day find himself in the minority.

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  • Go Romans

    The Redskins should change their name to the Washington Romans. Anew image and identity can easily be created to replace the one used by the Washington Redskins with a minimum of overall change to the brand. There are three critical areas that need to be addressed in making the change; continuity, historical significance and culture creation.

    Continuity:

    Colors; Team colors would be unchanged.

    Logo; The Native American head would be replaced with a roman soldier’s helmet with similar coloration, sizing and spacing. The feathers at the back of the logo circle would be modified slightly to be repurposed as palm leafs. This will allow the new logo to be indistinguishable from the current one when seen at a distance or viewed in passing.

    Secondary Marks; The stylize “R”, the “R” in a circle with palm leaves replacing the feathers, arrows and spears all would continue to be usable.

    Name Alliteration; Redskins and Romans have strong verbal similarities. Both are two syllables words, start with R and end with ns.

    Fight Song; “Hail to the Romans” works as a replacement to the current song.

    Historical Significance:

    The Redskin name has been in use for eighty years. A replacement name needs to sound as though it could have be used at the team’s initiation.

    Washington as a city has great connections to Rome and their empire.

    Culture:

    In creating a new identity a whole new culture will evolve away from the current Native American name and imagery.

    The Roman Empire offers many visual and lifestyle aspects to use. Togas, feasts, chariots, gladiators, emperors, goddesses and soldiers are but a few of the items attached to this culture.

  • RogerW

    Here's an idea: Just because you think it's 'stylish' to claim that it offends you don't 'tell' other people what does and does not offend THEM. If you are truly offended by this (or anything for that matter), respond by not buying the 'offenders' merchandise, or by not watching their games (either on TV or in person). But don't tell everyone else what is 'acceptable' and not. I could care less if you're offended. As a Cowboys fan - I say keep the name.

  • RogerW

    This is amazing. 71% of poll respondents said the Redskins should keep their name - but since it's an 8% drop from the previous poll, your headline is "Poll finds more people want the Redskins to change their name." Never mind the fact that only 18% of the poll respondents said they should change it. (11% were 'undecided'). This is living proof that 'progressives' will try to skew any facts to meet their agenda. Truly the most lopsided liberal piece of *&^ I've read in a long time.

  • Feet2Fire

    Typical Leftie stunt. They are nothing if not Master-Manipulators and Truth-Twisters. Oh, and let's not forget Masters of Psychological Projection, while we are at it, because they are stepping up their favorite "tool" these days. Watch for it!

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Posted at 12:00 PM/ET, 01/03/2014 RSS | Print | Permalink | Comments () | Washingtonian.com Blogs