According to the survey, released Thursday, 73% of respondents said they also did not find the word “Redskin” was offensive towards Native Americans in general, and 80% said they would not be offended if a non-Native American person used the word to refer to them personally.
The results could be used to counter a national movement advocating that the NFL team change its name and mascot. NFL team owner Daniel Snyder also released a Thursday statement about the results, and said the name represents “honor, respect and pride.”
Two Native American leaders of the name change movement released a joint statement arguing that the results prove the Native American community’s resilience, not that the term is inoffensive.
“Native Americans are resilient and have not allowed the NFL’s decades-long denigration of us to define our own self-image,” said National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata and Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter on Thursday. “However, that proud resilience does not give the NFL a license to continue marketing, promoting, and profiting off of a dictionary-defined racial slur — one that tells people outside of our community to view us as mascots.”
The survey polled 504 people across the country between December and April.