Washington Redskins: The word is OK and the name shouldn't change

June 23, 2014, 1:53 PM GMT+0

Only a fifth of Americans think that the Washington Redskins should change their name, but if they did change it the top choice is to become the 'Washington Warriors'

Last week the Patent and Trademark Office rescinded the Washington Redskins' trademark for their name. This won't stop the Redskins using their name, but it does mean that the team will be unable to prevent other people selling branded merchandise. The Patent and Trademark Office is able to rescind any trademarks which are deemed to be disparaging to certain racial, ethnic or religious groups and has determined that 'Redskins' is 'disparaging to Native Americans'.

The latest research from YouGov shows, however, that most Americans (58%) don't even think that the word 'redskin' is disparaging. That said, Americans do sympathize with concerns over the word, with research from May showing that nearly two-thirds of the country think that it would be offensive to refer to a Native American as a "redskin', even if they don't think that the word itself is generally disparaging.

Only 21% of Americans think that the Redskins should change their name, with support highest among Democrats (33%) and Hispanics (37%) and lowest among Republicans (5%) and white people (16%). Opposition to changing the name has dropped slightly over the past year, with YouGov research from May 2013 showing that 69% of Americans didn't think that the Redskins should change their name, compared to 62% now.

If the Redskins were to change their name, however, by far the most popular alternative name is the 'Washington Warriors', which 55% of Americans think should be the name of the Washington NFL team if they had to stop playing as the Redskins. The second choice is the Washington Renegades, while the federal-themed 'Department of Football' is the best replacement name for only 6% of the country.

Last year the new name 'Warriors' and accompanying logo won a contest to find a replacement name that was organized by a graphic design firm. In fact, the name - which would honor American soldiers - is widely discussed as the most likely alternative if the Redskins do yield to the pressure and change their name in the future.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty