Okay first thing RedskinsFan44 - I can always appreciate a good Seinfeld clip - well done. It's amazing that he was rocking a Brodeur jersey back then and the man is STILL PLAYING!
Now, to the task at hand! First, I'm certainly not hanging my hat on the ICTMN poll. But to dismiss it completely is folly. It's not the answer, but it's a piece of the puzzle and there is good information there to consider. That being said, let's not also talk like the Annenberg poll is the Holy Grail here. It's a piece of the puzzle too, but it's not perfect. The poll did not poll in Alaska and Hawai'i, where Native culture is much more predominant than in many states in the lower 48. It also asked people who self-identified as Native Americans. This is huge. There was no proof needed that they were part of a tribe. And it's been well documented that many non-Natives claim to have Native American ancestry in their family when they, in fact, do not ("Yeah, I'm 1/64th Native American." - we've all met that guy, right?!). If these non-Natives are erroneously claiming to be Natives and not offended, well, their opinions on the matter wouldn't be as relevant and would negatively impact the poll results. Finally, asking a more pertinent question, even one a simple as, "Do you support the use of Native American words and imagery in professional sports?" would be more relevant than asking them if they're offended by the term Washington Redskins or not. Again, just because they're not offended does not equate to them being for it.
One more thing about Annenberg. As the amount of education attained for those that were polled increased, so did the number of those that were offended: "Thirteen percent of Indians with college degrees or more education said “Redskins” was offensive, compared to 9 percent of those with some college and 6 percent of those with a high school education or less. " Now, 13% coupled with the +/- of 2% error for the poll and we're getting a lot closer to the mythical 20% that would be required to make several of you reconsider your stance. My point is salient here in that Native Americans have the lowest rate of graduation from college and high school of all races in the United States. The Native American high school graduation rate is 51%. Of those, approximately 5% proceed directly to four-year colleges and only 10% of those students graduate in four years. Of American Indians living on reservations, only half are as likely as white students to persist and obtain a bachelor’s degree. Relative to other minorities and to the general US school-age population, Indian school children are at or near the greatest risks of receiving poor education and underperforming at the elementary and secondary levels (National Center for Educational Statistics, “Status and Trends in the Education of American Indians and Alaska Natives”, 2008). Suicide rates for young Native Americans are at epidemic proportions: http://investigations.nbcnews.com/_news/2012/10/10/14340090-suicide-is-epidemic-for-american-indian-youth-what-more-can-be-done. I could continue to give you statistics about the daily struggles of Native Americans, but my point is that Natives have it pretty damn hard in this country and they have for a long time. For many, they have more important things to do than protest against the name of a sports team (like try to survive). As a group of minorities that have been suppressed for decades, do you think it's possible that some of them don't feel comfortable speaking out against a powerhouse such as the NFL or professional sports in general, a national pastime that's embraced by millions? I know most of you 90%ers will dismiss this data and continue to hang your hat on Annenberg because if it fails, you don't have a lot of other place to turn to that will support your beliefs (other than, perhaps ES ).
Kosher, please stop acting like you speak for all Natives when you talk. You don't. It's embarrassing that you act like you do. I've stated before that I, by no stretch of the imagination represent the Natives when I talk here. Can you PLEASE just make a similar statement. Yes, my calling you "redskin" was more tongue-in-cheek than anything but it definitely wasn't meant to upset you. You've stated several times that the term does not offend you so I was using it in a "honorific" fashion towards you. You should be flattered. And if my use of the word ""n-word"" on this board upsets you, well, that's on you. I've never used it to call anyone a ""n-word"" but rather just used it to have a discussion about the word and how it's been used in our history's past. I also direct you to this, which I think is hilarious, but also poignant and has some truth to it. By me saying, "n-word" I'm putting the onus on you to say the word, even if in your head, and that's not cool. Anyway, here's Louis C.K. and if you're not familiar, definitely NSFW:
<staff delete rule violating video embed--1 week ban>
Finally, many of you will say, "But wait, we're talking about Washington Redskins football here - not racism!" 99.9% of the times that the term "redskins" is used these days, it's in the context of football! Well, I give you this picture as one example in which I think you're wrong. Now this picture isn't from 100 years ago, not 20 years ago, hell, not 5 years ago. It's from December of last year. Five month ago at a Sonic burger in Missouri, the heart of America:
Now how does that make you feel? Now how do you think a Native American would feel seeing that, especially if they were in Missouri, just trying to take their kids to get a burger for lunch, and they see that. How do they explain that to their kids? Can you see how using the word "redskins," PARTICULARLY in the context of football, where it is commonly heard for the majority of us, can still bring out hate and racism against Native Americans? To deny that this exists in today's world is not reality.
And all of this in the name of professional sports? Something that exists SOLELY for the purpose of our entertainment?! You're telling me that we can't do better? When we sing "Hail to the Redskins" there is no honor there. No one is thinking, "I sing these words as respect to the Native Americans whose heroic struggles I appreciate so I can be here today." No, we're celebrating a touchdown, high-fiving our friends, and taking a pull from our bottle of beer.
I don't think we're keeping the name to honor anyone. I believe, more than anything, that we're keeping it because it's a part of our tradition. 80 years is a long time to do anything. It's hard to break from tradition. Our love of the Redskins has been passed down from generation to generation. I get that. People are often resistant and afraid of change after doing something the same way for so long. For most of us, it's all that we've known. But that doesn't mean that it's all that we have to ever know.