Now, the Redskins are asking their fans about the name again. According to the Washington Post’s DC Sports Bog, the Redskins sent an online survey to fans that included at least three questions about the name. One question asks if the name is “rooted in racism” or if it symbolizes, as Goodell asserted, “strength, courage, pride, and respect.” A second asks about an Annenberg Public Policy poll that shows 90 percent of Native Americans supporting the name and the efforts of members of Congress to change it:
That Annenberg poll isn’t exactly airtight. It’s a decade old, for one, and it’s not so much a poll of Native Americans as it is a poll of “people who said they were Indians or Native Americans,” which creates interesting self-identification issues given Americans’ willingness to say they have Native American heritage. The Redskins have a history with that sort of problem: in May, they put a supposed Indian chief on their television show to defend the name, except he isn’t a chief and might not even be Native American. It’s likely that most Redskins fans like the name, given that a recent Associated Press poll found that 79 percent of Americans do. But even polling D.C. residents or Redskins fans won’t gather much of what Native Americans think, since the city’s population is 0.6 percent Native American and the suburban areas are roughly similar.
Regardless of the outcome, though, it’s interesting that the Redskins keep putting this issue back in front of people. For a team whose owner vowed just two months ago that the team would “NEVER” change the name, the Redskins sure are asking a lot of people about it.