Dan Snyder addresses Redskins name controversy

10/10/13 in NFL   |   PennSkinsFan   |   12 respect

Sep 22, 2013; Landover, MD, USA; Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder before the game against the Detroit Lions at FedEX Field. Mandatory Credit: Brad Mills-USA TODAY SportsWashington Redskins team owner Dan Snyder has written an open letter to Redskins fans, declaring again that the team name will not change despite pressure from Amerindian groups who insist the name is offensive. Snyder told USA Today last May that the team would “never” change its name.

Snyder writes [in boldface, no less] “Our past isn’t just where we came from—it’s who we are.” He then goes on to use that aphorism to make the argument that the team name has been Redskins for a long time and if it was good enough back then it is good enough now. He writes “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.”

The letter is mostly a rehashing of arguments the Redskins have already made, including citing an Annenberg poll showing only 9 percent of Amerindians think the name Redskins is offensive. This poll is often used by defenders of the team name to justify their position, though it must be conceded that the poll is ten years old, so it may not be representative of current opinion. What’s more, the poll was of people claiming to be Amerindian and we know a fair number of Americans like to claim such an ethnic background even if it isn’t known or cannot be proven.

This is something the Redskins should know a bit about. Last May the team trotted out an alleged Amerindian chief to defend the team name on Redskins Nation, the team’s virtually unwatchable TV show on Comcast. Turns out this “Indian chief” not only isn’t an “Indian chief”, he might not even be Amerindian at all.

Snyder includes a plea for understanding and civility, something I can heartily endorse. The arguments over this subject, at least based on what I see in comments sections, rarely rise above the “You’re a racist” v. “You’re a politically correct libtard” level. That’s unfortunate.

I’m not a supporter of the name Redskins myself. I don’t like it for a number of reasons, some having to do with “political correctness” and some having to do with just not liking it in general and preferring a name native — if you’ll pardon the pun — to the D.C. area rather than one that was dreamt up in Boston. The overwhelming majority of Redskins fans I have known over the years have happily used the name and very few of them are racists. And if being “politically correct” means caring about the views and concerns of other human beings, then I will happily confess to being guilty of that.

This issue is not going away, no matter how much Dan Snyder may wish it would. Therefore, there will be many arguments about the name in the future. I hope those arguments will be a bit more civil and productive than what I’ve seen so far.

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10/10/13   |   Jess   |   34285 respect

JenX63 wrote:

There was some interesting history in that article - I had no idea about Marshall.  I wonder if he knew Dietz was falsely claiming to be native (or at least, a specific native.)

10/10/13   |   Jess   |   34285 respect

10/10/13   |   Jess   |   34285 respect

Honestly, what it all boils down to is that it IS a derogatory term, and there are groups of natives who are offended by it, so Snyder needs to stop being so stubborn. I realize the team has history and its name has always been the Redskins, but the world is progressing and sometimes what was once considered "okay" in society changes.

10/10/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61031 respect

Jess wrote:
Why are you yelling at me!  crying (apparently people yelling makes us want to stick nails in our eyes)

No, I agree. It is a derogatory term and IMO Snyder saying it was okay to name the team that and keep the name because they had a few native american guys on the team and in the front office is akin to saying, "I can use certain derogatory terms because I have friends who are (insert random ethnicity/religion/sexual orientation here.)"

I just yelled at you cause someone else did early. sowwy.

10/10/13   |   Jess   |   34285 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
:/ woman!

I was also going to list what I won't call chinese people and the mesicans, etc but you know how those common terms irritate me and I felt dirty even getting ready to asterisk them out so I left it. I call my friends a bunch of stuff that others can't call them, but that's a personal thing, so I get that with you and your uncle. The team is the team so whatever, but the term is (at least to me) derogatory on its own if we're discussing these "memories" Snyder mentions. He and I probably remember lots of things differently, though.

Why are you yelling at me!  crying (apparently people yelling makes us want to stick nails in our eyes)

No, I agree. It is a derogatory term and IMO Snyder saying it was okay to name the team that and keep the name because they had a few native american guys on the team and in the front office is akin to saying, "I can use certain derogatory terms because I have friends who are (insert random ethnicity/religion/sexual orientation here.)"

10/10/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61031 respect

Jess wrote:
Oh I would. We used to call my uncle John "Chief White Butt of the Redskin Tribe" because he was a 'Skins fan. But it never really made much sense, because he DID have the pretty native american skin color, although a tiny bit diluted. Jerk.

OK, OK, if they weren't someone in my family who knows and shares my heritage I would never call them that, either to their face or behind their back. I don't actually use the term in reference to anything other than the football team.

:/ woman!

I was also going to list what I won't call chinese people and the mesicans, etc but you know how those common terms irritate me and I felt dirty even getting ready to asterisk them out so I left it. I call my friends a bunch of stuff that others can't call them, but that's a personal thing, so I get that with you and your uncle. The team is the team so whatever, but the term is (at least to me) derogatory on its own if we're discussing these "memories" Snyder mentions. He and I probably remember lots of things differently, though.

10/10/13   |   Jess   |   34285 respect

JenX63 wrote:
thank you!
so i am presumming when you hear the term "Redskins" you associate it with the football team and not the original land owners?

Depends on context - I've actually heard a**h***s calling native americans that as well and yes, it is offensive in that context. I just meant that I would never EVER use that term to refer to a native american (besides my uncle John, but even then it was more about the team,) because it is an offensive term. IMO it's as offensive as any other color based ethnic slur when used in that context. 

I'm a football fan and grew up in a home where football Sundays were the norm, so for years the only context I even heard the term was in reference to the football team. Once I found out what an actual "redskin" was though, I did think it was rude (and recognized that even as a child.)

10/10/13   |   JenX63   |   32358 respect

Jess wrote:
Oh I would. We used to call my uncle John "Chief White Butt of the Redskin Tribe" because he was a 'Skins fan. But it never really made much sense, because he DID have the pretty native american skin color, although a tiny bit diluted. Jerk.

OK, OK, if they weren't someone in my family who knows and shares my heritage I would never call them that, either to their face or behind their back. I don't actually use the term in reference to anything other than the football team.

thank you!
so i am presumming when you hear the term "Redskins" you associate it with the football team and not the original land owners?

10/10/13   |   Jess   |   34285 respect

Oh I would. We used to call my uncle John "Chief White Butt of the Redskin Tribe" because he was a 'Skins fan. But it never really made much sense, because he DID have the pretty native american skin color, although a tiny bit diluted. Jerk.

OK, OK, if they weren't someone in my family who knows and shares my heritage I would never call them that, either to their face or behind their back. I don't actually use the term in reference to anything other than the football team.

10/10/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61031 respect

Eric_ wrote:
Chief Wahoo is awful and offensive and needed to go away yesterday.

Also, you "I would never call a Native American (that) to their face" should really say it all about the team name.

yes

10/10/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
Oh, I know nothing about him beyond that fact that you don't like him, but he reads like a very particular southerner set... and I'm no fan. (Every day of the week though, I would never call a native american a redskin to their face, so while I don't care at all, I understand. And every time I see this topic, the first thing I picture is that big ass "cleveland indian" logo. Um, if that's okay, what the hell is the difference? :/)
(Edited by Eric_)

Chief Wahoo is awful and offensive and needed to go away yesterday.

Also, you "I would never call a Native American (that) to their face" should really say it all about the team name.

10/10/13   |   JenX63   |   32358 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
Oh, I know nothing about him beyond that fact that you don't like him, but he reads like a very particular southerner set... and I'm no fan. (Every day of the week though, I would never call a native american a redskin to their face, so while I don't care at all, I understand. And every time I see this topic, the first thing I picture is that big ass "cleveland indian" logo. Um, if that's okay, what the hell is the difference? :/)

exactly..and there is talk about them and the "Braves" names.

10/10/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61031 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Oh I get that...my posting really wasn't for you..cause i know you....i just think if you're gonna rag on someting, put it all out there, not just the parts that make your ragging legit....
i'm not a snider fan and i think if anyone else was saying this it really wouldn't be that controversial. but he is such an a**h***
(Edited by kobe_lova)

Oh, I know nothing about him beyond that fact that you don't like him, but he reads like a very particular southerner set... and I'm no fan. (Every day of the week though, I would never call a native american a redskin to their face, so while I don't care at all, I understand. And every time I see this topic, the first thing I picture is that big ass "cleveland indian" logo. Um, if that's okay, what the hell is the difference? :/)

10/10/13   |   Debi_L   |   11716 respect

JenX63 wrote:
Oh I get that...my posting really wasn't for you..cause i know you....i just think if you're gonna rag on someting, put it all out there, not just the parts that make your ragging legit....
i'm not a snider fan and i think if anyone else was saying this it really wouldn't be that controversial. but he is such an a**h***

i'm not a snider fan and i think if anyone else was saying this it really wouldn't be that controversial. but he is such an a**h***


Yep, I'm with you on that one!

10/10/13   |   JenX63   |   32358 respect

kobe_lova wrote:
" four players and our Head Coach were Native Americans" made me laugh.. 4 whole players? Wow. Also, I didn't lose the context. The statement irks me for reasons that probably don't have much to do with the racism.

Oh I get that...my posting really wasn't for you..cause i know you....i just think if you're gonna rag on someting, put it all out there, not just the parts that make your ragging legit....
i'm not a snider fan and i think if anyone else was saying this it really wouldn't be that controversial. but he is such an a**h***

10/10/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61031 respect

JenX63 wrote:
let's give the reason he said what he said: "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"...taking certain words out of context can make anyone or thing look bad. He has a flair for the dramatic, but, basically a lot of thought went into the name and the logo, folks from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota were consulted on the emblem. To much has been made of this. Like Debi, I am a fan of the Skins, now and forever, I don't have enough Indian in me to count for much of anything, but I am not offended, I am also not a PC person...so there's that.

" four players and our Head Coach were Native Americans" made me laugh.. 4 whole players? Wow. Also, I didn't lose the context. The statement irks me for reasons that probably don't have much to do with the racism.

10/10/13   |   JenX63   |   32358 respect

let's give the reason he said what he said: "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"...taking certain words out of context can make anyone or thing look bad. He has a flair for the dramatic, but, basically a lot of thought went into the name and the logo, folks from the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota were consulted on the emblem. To much has been made of this. Like Debi, I am a fan of the Skins, now and forever, I don't have enough Indian in me to count for much of anything, but I am not offended, I am also not a PC person...so there's that.

10/10/13   |   Jess   |   34285 respect

(Edited by Jess)

I'm not a supporter of the Redskins moniker myself, nor am I really passionate about changing it (though I have native american blood - which can be proven; I'm enrolled...but my skin is far from being that pretty native american color. Ugh). I do think that if the only gripe was coming from Congress, eff them. If it truly is coming from native american groups who are offended though, then maybe they should consider changing it. 

And I agree with Ashlie about that part being a little irking. 

10/10/13   |   Eric_   |   7716 respect

Note that Snyder has retained Lanny Davis for this latest charm offensive. Davis is in the running for biggest piece of crap in Washington, and that is saying a lot. Davis has literally represented and lobbied for dictators.

10/10/13   |   kobe_lova   |   61031 respect

This part irks me a little: "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."

And that's all I have to say about that.

10/10/13   |   Debi_L   |   11716 respect

I am a Redskins' fan, and I am in favor of keeping the name exactly as it is.  As a fan, I belong to many of the Social Media Fan sites, and I've seen very, very few comments crying for a change in name.  Rather, the comments I've seen, are overwhelmingly in support of keeping the name exactly as it is.  Most people commenting haven't seen any need to identify themselves by race - which is as it should be, in my mind - but of the Native Americans who have identified themselves as such, most are in favor of the name, and see it as a badge of honor.  One example:

"As a proud native american n a proud redskins fan keep the name dnt ever change it HTTR!!!!"