The Washington Redskins are under more pressure than ever to change their team’s nickname. The term “Redskin” is known to be offensive to those of Native American background and heritage. Washington team owner Dan Snyder has been vehement about keeping the name regardless of outside pressure to change. The Washington Post obtained a letter from Snyder, sent to season-ticket holders defending the seemingly offensive mascot.
Snyder’s stance remains intact, but the letter presents a much softer response to the criticism than quotes by Snyder in the past.
“We’ll never change the name,” he said via USA Today back in May. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
The letter provides a compelling argument and is peppered with quotes and statistics backing Snyder’s opinion on the matter. The only problem with the letter is that he seems to think 81 years of Redskins football is weighs heavier on history than actual Native Americans who “inspired” the name.
“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.”
Snyder seems to come off as desperate and still insensitive. Once again putting his team above the feelings of real people. Other prominent franchises have changed names and even cities to be met with great success (hello, Baltimore Ravens, Indianapolis Colts, St. Louis Rams). History can’t be re-written, and no one will forget the “Washington Redskins” but the franchise is in need of a face-lift.
There’s is a community contest being held on 99designs.com where fans can submit their ideas for a re-branding of the Washington franchise. Some of the concepts are surprisingly good and would make for an ample replacement of the current name.