Snyder: We Will NEVER Drop Redskins Name


The debate over whether to change the name of the Washington Redskins has seen a lot of passionate back-and-forth in recent months, but team owner Dan Snyder's comments to USA Today published on Thursday, May 9, may be the most inflammatory yet.

"We will never change the name of the team," Snyder said. "It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."

Snyder said that "the Redskins fans understand the great tradition" of the name. Jim Rome, a radio and TV sports personality, shot back on his blog: "Oh I know Redskins fans do, but what about the Native Americans that you’re slurring.  Go ask them what it’s all about and what it means.  And unless you are Native American, stop telling me the nickname isn’t offensive.  Not to you, it’s not."

Writing for, Barbara Reynolds called Snyder's remark "reminiscent of an ugly past" -- specifically, the stubbornness of Alabama's segregationist governor George Wallace. "For a moment I felt myself hurled into that infamous day in 1963," she wrote, "when Wallace stood on the doorsteps at the University of Alabama and thunderously vowed: 'Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, and segregation forever.'"

Snyder's "NEVER" comment appeared in a larger article about Amanda Blackhorse, the activist who is currently pursuing a trademark case against the team. Blackhorse suggested that Snyder really does know that the term is considered a slur. "I'd ask him, 'Would you dare call me a redskin, right here, to my face?' " she told USA Today. "And I suspect that, no, he would not do that."

To the south, in Richmond, Virginia, a writer for the Times-Dispatch sought out prominent local Natives and solicited their opinions on the team's name. Paul Woody -- who declares himself an advocate of the changing the name -- spoke with leaders from the Patawomeck, Pamunkey, and Rappahannock tribes. All three said they had no problem with the name. Anne Richardson, chief of the Rappahannock Tribe, told Woody: "We’re more worried about our kids being educated, our people housed, elder care and the survival of our culture. We’ve been in that survival mode for 400 years. We’re not worried about how some ball team is named."

Mike Florio, writing for's "Pro Football Talk," questions the randomness of Woody's survey, and suspects an ulterior motive given that the Redskins will hold their preseason practices in Richmond in 2013 for the first time. Florio's diagnosis:

"Richmond newspaper welcomes Redskins to town with one-sided support of team name" 

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curtj's picture
Submitted by curtj on
Ahh yess our so called leaders. They are too occupied holding their hands out for money that won't come. Look up colonialism and think about the centuries the Indigenous have been invaded and forced into concentration camps by the Europeans, then Americans and their cronies. The policies of theft and murder must be muddied up so people will not think of the resources stolen and genocide inflicted on innocents, just so white collar thieves and murderers could have their blood money profits that will pass onto their bribed Washington political prostitutes. These so called leaders such as the female A. Richardson, chief of the Rappahannock Tribe, have no vision and their thought processes cannot collate all the negatives that she mentioned, to come to the conclusion that all of them are related into the US governments policy of colonialism and the invasion and destabilizations of governments to allow foreign owned multi national oil, energy and mining conglomerates to profit off stolen resources. Our leaders refuse to take these white collar thieves and murderers to court for redress of their grievances.

Stella's picture
Submitted by Stella on
If they don't want to change the name, then they should pay the nearby tribes to keep it. Would help some of the poverty in the area or help with educating our young ones. Just saying, I know that would never happen.

Cindy Erb's picture
Cindy Erb
Submitted by Cindy Erb on
As a native I too am more concerned about housing education and bigger things, it's very hard to change ignorance when it's stubborn.

bintdeeeb's picture
Submitted by bintdeeeb on

Scrunchee's picture
Submitted by Scrunchee on
Then why don't they honor themselves and call the team--The Washington White Skins.

Michael Madrid's picture
Michael Madrid
Submitted by Michael Madrid on
Snyder is only observing an American tradition: squeezing the last bit of humanity out of a racial/cultural minority in order to elevate his opinion of himself. As for the tribes who worry about more pressing matters; it's a shame that you can't see how these two are connected. If you're just a "redskin" then there is no need to worry whether or not you can feed your family? If you're just a nigger who cares if your elders need medical care? If you're just a Jap, who cares if they round up your family members in a concentration camp because our countries are at war? If you're just a Chink, who cares if drug problems are rampant in your ghettos? Think of all the different names the White Man have given those he hates: niggers, Chinks, Slopes, Japs, Wops, Micks, Spics and yes, Redskins.

Anoymous's picture
Submitted by Anoymous on
It really doesn't bother me that they are called the REDSKINS, That is my favorite football team and I think some natives take it to an exstream bout the past, but to me it's not a bad name it's a good name and I think they should keep their name, BUT is he like George Wallace? That will never ever have segragation anymore reguardless an his comment back then this is now and he needs to realize that this is Indian Country no matter what any man or woman says they need to go back to school an read up on their history again and realize what really happen to the Native People back then when it was our land in the first place OUR COUNTRY..... U can not change history I'm sorry you may change things in America but you can't change history........I'm Native American and very proud of my heritage and cultures and main thing of all MY COUNTRY.......

Honorable Indian Man's picture
Honorable Indian Man
Submitted by Honorable Indian Man on
I see black men and white men wearing war paint and war bonnets on every Sunday. If a Indian man wore a afro wig and black paint on his face with white painted lips would that offend anyone or is that honorable?

evan's picture
Submitted by evan on
that,s the problem with native america. To damn many hang around the fort Indians. All i can say is snyder never say never.The medicine wheel has begun to turn!