SI polled Native Americans and sports fans in general on the use of Indian nicknames, and got some surprising answers
Although most Native American activists and tribal leaders consider Indian team names and mascots offensive, neither Native Americans in general nor a cross-section of U.S. sports fans agree. That is one of the findings of a poll conducted for SI by the Peter Harris Research Group. The pollsters interviewed 351 Native Americans (217 living on reservations and 134 living off) and 743 fans. Their responses were weighted according to U.S. census figures for age, race and gender, and for distribution of Native Americans on and off reservations. With a margin of error of �4%, 83% of the Indians said that professional teams should not stop using Indian nicknames, mascots or symbols, and 79% of the fans agreed with them. Surprisingly, there is a greater divergence of opinion between Native Americans who live on reservations and those who don't. Sixty-seven percent of Indians on reservations do not object to the use of Indian images, against 87% of those off the reservations. When pollsters asked about the Washington Redskins, they found no great resentment toward the name. Instead, they again found agreement between Native Americans and fans (69% of the former and 74% of the latter do not object to the name), and less agreement between Indians on and off reservations (57% and 72%, respectively). Other results appear in the boxes that follow.
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