Turns out he
Blackfeet Elder Says Rick Reilly Misquoted Him; Wants ‘Redskins’ Banned
By Bob Burns
But that’s not what I said.
What I actually said is that “it’s silly in this day and age that this should even be a battle--if the name offends someone, change it.” He failed to include my comments that the term “redskins” demeans Indians, and historically is insulting and offensive, and that I firmly believe the Washington Redskins should change their name.
When Rick’s article came out, it upset me to be portrayed as an “Uncle Tom” in support of this racial slur. I asked him to correct the record. He has not, so I must do it myself.
By Ty Duffy
Anyway, here's another problem related to Reilly's column:
Reporter Defends ‘Redskins’; Doesn’t Mention Dad Is Team’s Crisis Manager
By Rob Capriccioso
Seth Davis, a basketball reporter for CBS Sports and a Sports Illustrated writer, posted a flurry of tweets in recent days supporting a column by ESPN’s Rick Reilly in which Reilly made several arguments supporting his belief that the name honors American Indians. Reilly, despite much readily available contrary evidence, wrote that he believes the main people who are outraged by the name are white sports reporters and columnists. To back up that claim, he reported that his father-in-law, a Blackfeet Nation citizen, doesn’t mind the name, but his father-in-law, Bob Burns, has since told Indian Country Today Media Network that Reilly misrepresented his views, and he does indeed feel ‘Redskins' is offensive and should not be used.
Despite the holes in Reilly’s thesis, Davis wholeheartedly agreed with it, linking to the Reilly column and writing on Twitter September 19, “Unless I missed it I don’t see a groundswell of protest from Native Americans against ‘Redskins.’”
Indeed, Davis “missed it” by ignoring American Indian protests of the names that started as early as the 1950s and continued to this week with a well-attended D.C. symposium sponsored by the Oneida Indian Nation. Oneida Nation Enterprises is the parent company of ICTMN.
Until recently, Davis also missed the opportunity to disclose to his 150,000-plus Twitter followers that his dad, Lanny Davis, has been working for the past few months for Daniel Snyder, owner of the team, as a crisis manager and lawyer as pressure has intensified for Snyder to change the name. On October 9, a few weeks after a Twitter user asked him if he was biased in this situation, Davis linked to a Washington Post article that highlights a recent radio interview with Lanny Davis, in which the lawyer explains his relationship with Snyder. “This is why I am so proud to be the son of @LannyDavis. Agree or not, he speaks respectfully and with civility,” Seth Davis tweeted.
Reilly tweeted his response to the controversy:
Rick Reilly's Father-in-Law Says He Was Misquoted...By Rick Reilly
By Matt Yoder
Beyond correcting the record from his son-in-law's quotation, Burns left no room for interpretation of where he truly stands with the Redskins nickname with this piercing, thought-provoking conclusion to his column:
Let me be clear: The racial slur “redskins” is not okay with me. It’s never going to be okay with me. It’s inappropriate, damaging and racist.
The question that hasn't been answered is what kind of response ESPN will have to this embarrassing situation. Given the terse response from PR yesterday, the Bristol suits have to be furious that first Reilly's column and now his inaccuracies have put ESPN in such a negative light. This looks really bad for the columnist, with Burns' column for Indian Country Today very forceful in opposition to the way he was portrayed by his own son-in-law.
ESPN had the opportunity to avoid all of this, but they re-signed Rick Reilly to a new contract earlier this year. They had it coming.
By Dave Zirin
Ray Halbritter from the Oneida Nation said to me that he wonders the same. “There has been a concerted effort by those who want to keep using this racial slur to pretend that the targets of the slur support their agenda. They enjoy the privilege of not being denigrated with a word that has been used as a epithet against Native people for decades. The most disturbing question about Rick Reilly and [team owner] Dan Snyder is why are they so devoted to continue slandering Native Americans with this racial slur?”
This personal and professional disaster for Reilly is a microcosm about the harmful effects of mascoting. The argument made for decades by Native Americans is that their ubiquitous presence as sports mascots enables the dominant culture to see them only as stereotypes and not as a living, breathing, visible part of this country. Here is Rick Reilly and he is so focused on defending the right of teams to have the freedom to practice minstrelsy that he is not actually hearing the Native American man under his own roof. When that same man asks for a correction, Reilly still will not hear him, and he has to write his own response.
This country has always been more than comfortable with Native Americans as brands on sports teams and military hardware such as Apache helicopters, and Tomahawk cruise missiles. It is not comfortable with actual, real-life Native Americans like Bob Burns. This is the legacy of conquest: you glory in the fighting prowess of the noble savages you vanquished because it indirectly is a way of praising your own sense of muscular manifest destiny.