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NFLThey Said What?

Dan Snyder’s Main Argument About Keeping The ‘Redskins’ Name Is Sentimental BS

dan snyderDan Snyder, owner of the Washington Team That Employs Robert Griffin III And Many Others, wrote a letter to season-ticket holders that the Washington Post published this morning. The letter, while not written in all caps, lays out Snyder’s reasoning for sticking with the current name, despite increasing public sentiment that it’s offensive and not appropriate.

It’s a bunch of sentimental BS.

Here’s a portion from the beginning of the letter:

Like so many of you, I was born a fan of the Washington Redskins. I still remember my first Redskins game.

Most people do. I was only six, but I remember coming through the tunnel into the stands at RFK with my father, and immediately being struck by the enormity of the stadium and the passion of the fans all around me.

I remember how quiet it got when the Redskins had the ball, and then how deafening it was when we scored. The ground beneath me seemed to move and shake, and I reached up to grab my father’s hand. The smile on his face as he sang that song … he’s been gone for 10 years now, but that smile, and his pride, are still with me every day.

And after citing several surveys — one of which had a questionable and perhaps misleading data collection process — and quotes from famous Native Americans, Synder finishes with this:

So when I consider the Washington Redskins name, I think of what it stands for. I think of the Washington Redskins traditions and pride I want to share with my three children, just as my father shared with me — and just as you have shared with your family and friends.

..[w]e 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.

So, can anybody explain what Dan Snyder having a great memory with his dad at a football game has anything to do with the team being called the “Redskins”? And why the team being named the “Redskins” for 81 years has anything to do with why it shouldn’t be changed?

Synder’s memory with his father is nice, and is likely not unique. But nothing about what made that day great — the enormity of the stadium, the passion of the fans, the smile on his father’s face — had anything to do with the team’s name. It had to do with the players and coaches on the field, and fans in the stands. If the team had been called the Bluehairs, that stadium would have been just as big, and his father’s song would have rang out just as clearly. To say that this memory would have been altered in any way without the “badge of honor” that is its current name is false.

(Unless that story actually ends with a Native American coming up to little Dan Snyder, patting him on the shoulder, and saying “Dan, you must protect our sacred badge of honor by any means necessary, including buying this team for an ass-ton of money” which it didn’t.)

Additionally, Snyder will be able to share great memories with his children at a football game regardless of what his team is called. He can share the tradition of the team’s success — which, again, was obtained irrespective of its moniker — without lamenting the fact that he was the one to finally change the team’s name. In fact, that kind of understanding of the changing nature of our society would be celebrated for years to come.

Finally, saying that the team has been named the “Redskins” for eight decades is enough reason to leave it that way is ridiculous. We change outdated laws, practices and terms all the time. “Well, we’ve been not letting women or black people vote for so long… it’d be going against tradition to change that now!”

If Snyder wants to cling to hand-picked statistics as the basis for his argument, fine. But trying to tug on people’s heartstrings only makes him look more out of touch and blind to reality than he already is. I guess this means we won’t be seeing a change anytime soon?

[BI Sports]

Photo via Getty

  • Anonymous

    And this out cry over the redskins to change their name is BS as well. This is clearly all from the media and not from any fans of the team or the NFL. Lets not pretend that anyone other then the media is pushing this. Redskins haven’t lost a dime over this and won’t. And I hate the Washington Redskins.

  • EricGoldscheinIsACryBaby

    It is not like the team has been in his family, he purchased it in the 90′s. He obviously bought the team because of his love for the team, not like many second-hand owners (who just want to buy a team). Changing the team name would be throwing the history away, he obviously wants to preserve it.
    Maybe you dont have that kind of relationship with your father, which is probably why you and so many others are too sensitive about this subject. Keep looking at all the negatives and ignore the positives. You are all a bunch of closet racist!

  • Anonymous

    I love how he says they are truly privileged to represent the team and everything it stands for.

    Just like they were privileged to not have any blackskins on the roster for how many years.

  • Anonymous

    Nothing with his father had anything to do with the team name.

  • Anonymous

    LOL. From the comments on the article.

    Dan Snyder sued the city paper because he was offended.

  • Rob Jacob

    Liberals are so full of crap. Dan Snyder is 100% correct – but liberals cannot debate – all they can do is call people names – as that is evidence of their own lack of intellect.

    ‘Redskins’ forever – and proud to say it.

  • Anonymous

    And none of that had to do with Dan Snyder as he bought the team in the 90s.

  • Anonymous

    Are you really defending Dan Snyder. One of the biggest scumbags on the planet. That Dan Snyder?

  • Anonymous

    The name will be changed.

    Maybe you’ll be in the ground, but it will be changed.

  • Anonymous

    Snyder is a scumbag but no need to LIE and add stuff that the owner before Snyder did to try and make him look worst. And the team name has nothing to do with Snyder being a scumbag the way he runs he’s team is what makes him a scumbag.

  • alveys_john@yahoo.com

    Hail to the Redskins!

  • Anonymous

    Living in the Baltimore/DC area I’ve heard this for over 30 years and nothing has changed.

  • Anonymous

    I wasn’t saying that Snyder was the one that made the decisions to not have any blackskins on the team. I figure people in the know understand that.

    But it does reflect on the history that Dan so desperately wants to preserve.

  • Anonymous

    Insert Internet/Information Age.

    The name will change.

  • Anonymous

    Only if its forced on them and I doubt thats happening any time soon.

  • reybquick

    I’m curious to know what everyone thinks of the state name of Oklahoma, which actually means “Red People”. …It would seem quite silly to change the name, but if one is offended by Redskins, then why not “Oklahoma”? This whole debate is stupid anyway. Keep the Redskin name!

  • Zach Lewallen

    Whether or not it’s right or wrong, Snyder owns the team. If he wants the name to be the Redskins, that’s what it’s going to be. Not defending him, just stating facts. Until the NFL and that Nazi Goodell step in, he isn’t going to change it.

    P.S. not saying making him change the name would make Goodell a Nazi, he already is.

  • Ted Tidwell

    Here’s the only reason he needs…

    Devil’s advocate Dan Snyder.

    I own the team, you don’t.

    Until I am convinced I can make more money by changing the name, I won’t. You don’t like it you don’t have to come to the game or buy the merchandise. Good luck not doing that because you are addicted to pro-football (don’t think I don’t recognize that key fact), and the special brand of family tolerant violence it promotes.

    Come on pro football fan! You have managed to convince yourself to be surprised that grown men who run into each other at full speed don’t suffer any long term effects to their brains/bodies (for the last 80 years). You do however need to invent conspiracy theories that the NFL was hiding that fact (in plain sight, contrary to your own common sense) in order to disassociate your insatiable addiction to the game, from the violence that is intrinsic in the sport…hell, why do you think us owners pay players so much damn money? If it makes you feel better you can play off the name Redskin the same way and associate with a long held family tradition, in which being a Redskin fan as a birth right that is passed down from sons to fathers.

  • Eric Goldschein

    I have a great relationship with my dad. I thought it was a nice story from Snyder. But it shouldn’t have any bearing on the team’s name.

  • Eric Goldschein

    Very true. (The first part, at least… I got lost in the second bit.)

  • Eric Goldschein

    Interesting point (TIL — what Oklahoma means!), but I don’t think it’s the same thing.

  • George

    The team is the focus point. It wasnt the Washington Warriors or any other suggested name that he went to see with his father. When I watched Chicago Bulls games with my father, we had a special bond. If I became owner of the Chicago Bulls, my father died and I was met with a demand for the team name to be changed. I would be hell bent on keeping it the same, for the sake of memories and principle.
    His father and he were fans of the Redskins before ownership, it’s not like they wanted a team (for sake of having a team), they wanted the Redskins.

  • George

    It wouldnt have a bearing for you because you have no attachment to the team name. Snyder and the Fans do have something to lose, such as pride, investment and respect.
    I do not know of any Redskins fan who thinks or considers the name Redskins a racial slur. I have a strong Irish background but do you hear me crying about Norte Dame and its “Fighting Irish”?
    Our country is so sensitive and weak that we crumble over the little stuff. I love the hate for the Chicago Blackhawks and its logo. The team name was a tribute to a military unit, a military unit which was a tribute to a particular Native American.
    Lets not remember Native Americans for being brave or different. Lets remember them for their Casinos, Loan agency and inability to teach their young.
    You know Mount Vernon still has slaves, black slaves as a matter of fact. They are paid actors, we didnt just wash them under the rug and try to forget our past, even though they were mistakes.

  • George

    They would have to create a law that would have to force them to change or Dan would have to sell the team. Maybe the crybabies will get lucky and Dan will die and his children will be weak minded like the rest of America and cave under pressure.

  • George

    Why not, it describes them. Red People, Red Skins. Same thing. You think Asians want to be called Yellow People.

  • clint

    there are six other teams in the US that use the “REDSKINS” as their mascot name. why is there no cry for them to change. this is about publicity. none of these treehuggers are attacking the high schools out west that bear the name, because their is no pub in it.

  • Anonymous

    treehuggers? wrong issue, man. and just a guess — because an NFL team is 1000002395023950239850x more visible than the other five.

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