Posted October 09, 2013

Daniel Snyder again defends Redskins name, even as his attorney hedges

NFC East, Washington Redskins
Daniel Snyder said the Redskins name continues to be 'a badge of honor.'

Daniel Snyder said the Redskins name continues to be ‘a badge of honor.’ (Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

In an open letter to season-ticket holders, Washington owner Daniel Snyder again maintained that the Redskins’ team name would not change. The franchise’s attorney, Lenny Davis, is a little less bullish about setting that claim in stone.

Davis told 106.7′s Holden and Danny that an earlier comment Snyder made to USA Today — “We’ll never change the name. It’s simple. NEVER. You can use caps.” — came on a little strong.

“I don’t think saying ‘All caps. Never’ is the right tone,” Davis said Wednesday. “I think saying, ‘We care about people’s feelings, we’re respectful when anyone is offended, but we have this 80-year name that we love … we sing Hail to the Redskins every Sunday at the stadium, and we say we’re part of Redskins Nation — that’s our vocabulary. Those are terms of honor.’

“And that’s what he should have said, but he, I don’t think is going to say ‘all caps. Never’ again.”

True to Davis’ word, Snyder did not use “never” in the letter sent out this week. But he also did not back down from the idea that his team should be able to keep its nickname.

According to the Washington Post, Snyder wrote, in part:

That tradition — the song, the cheer — it mattered so much to me as a child, and I know it matters to every other Redskins fan in the D.C. area and across the nation.

Our past isn’t just where we came from — it’s who we are.

As some of you may know, our team began 81 years ago — in 1932 — with the name “Boston Braves.” The following year, the franchise name was changed to the “Boston Redskins.” On that inaugural Redskins team, four players and our Head Coach were Native Americans. The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor.

Snyder then supported his argument with two sets of statistics, plus a quote from a Patawomeck Tribe chief. He closed the letter in this manner:

I respect the opinions of those who disagree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn. But we cannot ignore our 81 year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country. After 81 years, the team name “Redskins” continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come.

We are Redskins Nation and we owe it to our fans and coaches and players, past and present, to preserve that heritage.

The letter from Snyder came just days after The Associated Press released an interview with President Barack Obama, who said of the Redskins’ name: “I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things.”

Obama added that team names like Washington’s offend “a sizable group of people” and that he would “think about changing it” if he were the team’s owner.

Barring a direct decree from the NFL, or some sort of large-scale protest that caused Snyder to lose money because of the Redskins name, there is no indication that anything will be different in the near future.

43 comments
-JohnK
-JohnK

@czarkneeDude, go attend a tea-party rally funded by a billionaire Koch brother.

The job of Democrats, Liberals, Progressives, and Socialists is to drag the rest of this dumb country into the 21st century whether you like it or not...not by force, but by democratic consensus.  Too bad for you, but the majority of people are smarter than you and steering this country away from your stupid ideas.

Michael22
Michael22

Putting aside the issue of racial slur, 'Indians' is a pretty bad team name because of the sheer ignorance. In 1915 when Cleveland named their baseball team, everyone was very certain that North America existed between Europe and South Asia, so there was no reason to call the native inhabitants of the continent 'Indians', just because they were found when looking for India by 16th century explorers. As far as I am aware, no Native American will refer to themselves as Indian, while there exist people from India who are correctly called Indian. My Indian (South Asian) friends are just confounded by this. There is an Indian restaurant in every city in the US, Louisiana has an Indian-American governor, and the US has 3.2M citizens of Indian decent, yet this bizarre tradition lives on.

It would be like calling everyone of Puerto Rican decent Siamese, because Puerto Rico is southeast of the US, just like Siam (Thailand) is southeast of India, and then for hundreds of years just refusing to change. Soon there will be no one but sports teams using Indians as a synonym for Native Americans because of the actual (South Asian) Indians. 

LukeEaster
LukeEaster

“Redskins”

Here’s a piece of information most people have never heard,

“Redskins” to the American Indian is equal to the, “N” word,

Remember the, “Frito Bandito” & the uprising of Hispanics?

Like then, people feel there is no cause for worldwide panic.

But it is not about most people, who have not had their home,

Stolen by outsiders building cities where Buffalo used to roam,

Death to those refusing to forget their birthright native tongue,

Burned at the stake and/or firing squads in front of their young.

An offensive & derogatory term referring to Native Americans.

The U.S. paying for each Indian killed is from whence it begins,

In lieu of carrying bodies killers would present scalps for pay,

Since, “Redskins” was offensive then many feel it still is today.

Some believe the use of "Red" is as a color metaphor for race,

Others say,it constitutes war paint donned on a warriors face,

Does it really matter when a nation, not immigrants, shall say?

They’re the ones to determine that & they want it taken away.

However, the all powerful National Football League says no,

Not compensating concussions suffered by former players so,

Players sue, legal action, settlement reached & mucho denari,

NFL gets to admit no wrongdoing not even to say we’re sorry.

Native Americans do not like to use, “Red” like Rappers use, “N,”

From the derogatory definition associated with both now and then,

How African American youth seem to take pride in slinging it back,

Slave ships or Times Square, it is still demeaning and that is a fact.

“I will never change the name Redskins, you can put that in CAPS,”

So says team owner, Daniel Synder in a stubborn vocal facial slap,

President Obama weighed in and that’s supposed to incite a scare?

GOP refuses a compromise on the shutdown because of Obamacare.

Billion$ Industryv. Nation where the game is played on stolen land,

Fan based contest to come up with a new Moniker, so easily they can,

Concerned with safety too bad helmets are not hard as Synder’s head,

Those saying, “Redskins” should not be changed are legally brain dead.

Raider4Life77
Raider4Life77

You know, if this argument is valid, then the cowboys should change their name, and this is pointing to how preposterous this thing is, the term cowboy was originally derogatory to black slaves in the south atlantic colonies..

bulletrico
bulletrico

I wonder with all the Indian casinos that are in the US... Can they come up with the money to buy the team from insensitive Danny??? Then they can rename the team the Sick Snyders or whatever

SC1
SC1

How dare the Potawatomi be permitted to be the spokesman for all the native Americans across this land ...

SC1
SC1

Good for the Redskins ... I hope the name remains a long time to remind us all of our Native American Heritage (in a good way)

I am mostly native American and I strongly support keeping the name - it is an honor ... not an insult.

czarknee
czarknee

obama needs to zip it.  He has NO spine and NO business even commenting on Football, which he has ZERO interest in, and a 37% approval rating. About 9% of those polled think the name should be changed, so if the 30% who believe he should be impeached are taken seriously, obama should resign BUT KEEP HIS NAME.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

By the way when the high schools that are on American Indian reservations change their name from "Redskins" to something else because there truly is a majority feeling amongst American Indians that the word is offensive, then I would suggest Dan Snyder consider it.  As long as there are those schools on the actual reservations with the same nickname then this is a non issue, being raised by attention seeking fools who are too self righteous to care what anyone else thinks or believes.  

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

1) The highly respected Annenberg Public Policy Center polled nearly 1,000 self-identified Native Americans from across the continental U.S. and found that 90% of Native Americans did not find the team name “Washington Redskins” to be “offensive.”

2) In an April 2013 Associated Press survey, 79% of the respondents stated the Washington Redskins should not change their name, while only 1 1% believed the team’s name should change.

Paul Woody, a columnist for the Richmond Times Dispatch, interviewed three leaders of Virginia Native American tribes this May. They were all quoted by Mr. Woody as stating that the team name doesn’t offend them -- and their comments strongly supported the name “Washington Redskins.” Also in May, SiriusXM NFL Radio hosted Robert Green, the longtime and recently retired Chief of the Fredericksburg-area Patawomeck Tribe, who said, among other things:

“Frankly, the members of my tribe -- the vast majority -- don’t find it offensive. I’ve been a Redskins fan for years. And to be honest with you, I would be offended if they did change [the name, Redskins ... This is] an attempt by somebody ... to completely remove the Indian identity from anything and pretty soon ... you have a wipeout in society of any reference to Indian people ... You can’t rewrite history -- yes there were some awful bad things done to our people over time, but naming the Washington football team the Redskins, we don’t consider to be one of those bad things.”

Geomack62
Geomack62

How about the Washington Natives?????? The Redskins is just so racist and time to admit it and change the name. When the team was named originally racism was acceptable in this country but it's 2013 and we've evolved. 

Aerdna
Aerdna

The Washington Rednecks is more fitting.

MarkMiller4
MarkMiller4

So we change the name of the Redskins what next the Chiefs, Indians, Braves,the Ole Miss Rebels, Chicago White Sox (after all they are cheaters), how about country band Alabama, or rock band Kansas those names might be offensive to people from there. The we can go after food hamburgers might be offensive to German descendants, French Fries, Swiss Steak, Swedish meatballs, How about Jamiacan Rum or white Russians. the Chevy Colorado pick up or Dodge Dakota, Hawaii 5-0 and Dallas must change   So where do stop on this? Any one can find any thing offensive if they want. By the way I am a Native American myself and I see no reason to change the Redskin name

parkbrav
parkbrav

It's surprising how much Maryland touts its shellfish industry and yet no one has thought of calling this team the "Red Crabs."

closetjaysfan
closetjaysfan

I hear them being called "Washington Racists" more and more often... its kind of catchy.

MadPanda
MadPanda

This is a non-story. It is as always amusing that a bunch of white people are taking up a cause that native americans could care less.


Not only did White colonials massacre their people.......they usurped the meaning of the word REDSKIN (which was a term originally used by Native Americans to refer to themselves) and pervert it. Not they are hoping that sweeping an NFL's team name under the rug will somehow right a wrong. Its hilarious.

parkbrav
parkbrav

The people who think that the name is not as offensive as the Atlanta MLB mascot or the Florida State Mascot are ignoring the express use of the word "..."skins" in the Washington mascot. That makes the Washington mascot expressly about race

parkbrav
parkbrav

There are better mascots out there, aren't there? Even "Football Club Washington" would be better - it could be shortened to FC Washington

George
George

and here's one for Dan Snyder:




"♫ Short people got .. no reason ♫


"♫♪ Short people got .. no reason ♪♪


"♫ Short people got .. no reason to live




" ♪♪ they got .. They got little hands .. Little eyes ♫


♫ They walk around

♫ Tellin' great big lies ♫


♫ They got little noses

♪♫ And tiny little teeth

♫♪♫ They wear platform shoes

♪♪ On their nasty little feet ♪♪


♪♪ Well, I .. ♫♪♫ don't want no short people

♫ Don't want no short people

♫♪♫ Don't want no short people

♪♪ `Round here ♫♪♫

festsgrber
festsgrber

Keep the nickname, forget the Indians, change the logo to a potato!

el-cid
el-cid

@randomdeletion The Annenberg survey is flawed, but it says what you want to hear.  So you're left with an open survey and one guy.  Whatever side you're on, get a better argument.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

That is the portion of the letter SI decided to leave out and only mention by typing this "Snyder then supported his argument with two sets of statistics, plus a quote from a Patawomeck Tribe chief. He closed the letter in this manner:"

Pretty pathetic on SI's part to leave this portion of the letter out.  

It is a joke to act like it is offensive to all American Indians, when clearly it is not.  It is also a joke to leave out the fact there are American Indians that would be "offended" by it being changed.  The only thing that seems to matter to the whiny pc ridiculous people who try and enforce all that they want on everyone else regardless of what anyone else thinks or wants, is that they get their way.  That as long as "some" people are offended you can totally ignore what the majority of people feel.  The pc people are mind numbingly ridiculous.  

-JohnK
-JohnK

@Geomack62 Agree! The team should be "The Washington Natives."

This respects their heritage and acknowledges they were here first.  The symbols and mascot can and should remain the same.

If you defend the "redskin" name, how about "The Mississippi Blackies" as an expansion team?  I think not.

randomdeletion
randomdeletion

@Geomack62 Yeah totally ignore reality why don't you.  Totally ignore the idea the team was NOT named Redskins in a racist zeal, it was named Redskins as a sign of pride in American Indians, their heritage and culture.  Yeah let's totally ignore that, and rant on about how our self righteousness overrides anything and everything.  

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Geomack62 Evolved into a morass of whining, self-righteous, false political correctness.   Instead of climbing up on your homemade pulpit and attempting to show the world how evolved you are, why not make a real difference?   If you are so concerned about the plight of the American Indian, go out and feed or clothe a family on a reservation, instead of trying to feel better about yourself by making anonymous posts.

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@Aerdna And you likely don't know that there are high school teams on Indian reservations named Redskins, and the kids are proud of the name and the heritage, and don't  whine about this issue like those of you pretending to care and giving off false pretenses of trying to make a difference by typing a few words.

-JohnK
-JohnK

@MarkMiller4With your logic, you have paved the way for "The Mississippi Blackies."


Chiefs and Braves honor the heritage of Native Americans..."redskin" does not

parkbrav
parkbrav

@MarkMiller4 None of those other teams you mention make an express issue out of "skin"

JoeCabot
JoeCabot

@parkbrav Yeah, given that Washington DC is not in Maryland that is really strange.

MarkMiller4
MarkMiller4

@George you left out an important part of the song in your attempt at being humorous so let me include it for you so you don't skew the song:

Short people are just the same
As you and I
(A fool such as I)
All men are brothers
Until the day they die
(It's a wonderful world)

stagger
stagger

@festsgrber Good idea! But, the whiny, white-guilt ridden, pc police would just demand that the potato be renamed Native American Tuber.

MadPanda
MadPanda

@UBERTAXTHERICH Says the white guy who knows nothing about the etymology of the word or the actual history of the team's name (which was created to honor the mother of the team's 1st coach....and to refer to the Boston Red Sox as the team played at FENWAY originally)

-JohnK
-JohnK

Such tough rhetoric, but oh so very stupid.



George
George

@MarkMiller4 @George  I left it out on purpose, and probably have forgotten more about Randy Newman's compositions than you'll ever know.   

Snyder's a diminuitive twerp with a napoleon complex.

Get lost cornball. 

el-cid
el-cid

@MadPanda @UBERTAXTHERICH 1. How do you know he's white?  2. Don't be smarty pants, and criticize someone for not knowing the history when you might have it wrong as well.  They were the Boston Braves and played at Braves Field under their first coach Lud Wray who was not a Native American.  They moved to Fenway and then became the Boston Redskins under their 2nd coach, Dietz who was a Native American.  3. The Globe article announcing the change doesn't mention Dietz' mom.  4.  They must have wanted to honor Dietz in a big way - they fired him after one season.