'SI' Poll: 79% of NFL Fans Don't Find Redskins Offensive

According to a new Sports Illustrated poll, 79% of NFL fans polled said they do not think that the name 'Redskins' is  offensive and only 10% said they thought it was very offensive. Only 25% supported a name change.

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been under pressure to change the name, and TV and radio football announcers have been under pressure not to use the name on-air to refer to the team. SI pointed out that Snyder has vowed never to change the name.

The poll was conducted by Marketing & Research Resources among "more than 500 fans" nationwide, says the magazine.

Some former Redskins players have been pushing back on the name change pressure through a Redskins Facts web site, which was no mystery to readers of the SI poll story since a banner ad above the story read: "Did you know? "Redskins" was first used as an inclusive expression of solidarity by multi-tribal delegations," and led to the site and explanations of why the name was not offensive.

In the same poll, conducted amidst the klieg light on the NFL's handling of players with alleged domestic violence issues, 38% said NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell should not keep his job, while 29% said he should and 34% said they were unsure.

The poll was an online survey conducted Sept. 19-21, with a margin of error of 4.33 percentage points at 95% confidence. To register as an NFL fan, respondents had to say they were "very interested" followers of the NFL.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.