The Change the Mascot campaign issued a statement Thursday in response to a new Washington Post poll that shows nine out of 10 Native Americans do not find the Washington Redskins’ name offensive.

“The results of this poll confirm a reality that is encouraging but hardly surprising: Native Americans are resilient and have not allowed the NFL’s decades-long denigration of us to define our own self-image,” National Congress of American Indians Executive Director Jackie Pata and Oneida Nation Representative Ray Halbritter — both leaders of the campaign — said in the release sent to The Washington Post. “However, that proud resilience does not give the NFL a license to continue marketing, promoting, and profiting off of a dictionary-defined racial slur — one that tells people outside of our community to view us as mascots.

“Social science research and first hand experience has told us that this kind of denigration has both visible and unseen consequences for Native Americans in this country. This is especially the case for children, who were not polled and who are in a particularly vulnerable position to be bullied by the NFL. It is the 21st century — it is long overdue for Native Americans to be treated not as mascots or targets of slurs, but instead as equals.”

The Change the Mascot campaign was launched by the Oneida Indian Nation in 2013 and has financed much of the name-changing effort in recent years. In 2015, a Change the Mascot online ad imagined a Washington football team without the name Redskins.

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