By Erik Brady
"It's sort of fun to talk about the name of our football team because it gets some attention for some of the people who write about it who need (internet) clicks," the owner of the Washington Redskins said on ESPN 980, the radio station he owns. "But the reality is no one ever talks about what goes on, on reservations."
Snyder told Chris Cooley, a former Washington tight end who conducted the interview from the team's training camp in Richmond, Va.: "What I did see that got me and touched me and really moved me, and I think you know because you've visited a lot of reservations yourself, is the plight of Native Americans. Things that people don't talk about."
Snyder ticked off a list of woes, including high unemployment and issues involving health, education and the environment.
"No one wants to talk about that stuff because it's not cocktail chit-chat talk," he said. "It's a real-life need, real-life issues. I think they don't want to focus on that, and I dedicated an effort to do that. What I saw, and listened and learned, it moved me. … We would go back to the airport afterward and say, 'We've got to do something. We've got to help.'"
By Mike Florio
The Washington Post has the transcript. To summarize: (1) Snyder reiterates that the term connotes respect and pride, despite its current dictionary definition; (2) Snyder explains that he has visited with tribal membership and leaders in several states; (3) Snyder suggests that those expressing concern about the name are merely looking for Internet traffic; (4) Snyder laments that not enough is being done to address more important issues affecting Native Americans; and (5) Snyder insists that the effort to assist Native Americans has nothing to do with P.R.
Natives slam Snyder's lies
As usual, no one but Redskins diehards are buying Snyder's spin:
Change the Mascot Campaign Responds to Washington Team Owner Dan Snyder’s Defense of R*dskins Name
By Oneida Nation Homelands (NY)
“Washington team owner Dan Snyder’s comments are proof that he is living in a bigoted billionaire bubble. For him to claim that a racial slur is 'fun' is grotesque. For him to say that opposition to that slur is only from ‘people who need [internet] clicks adds insult to injury, considering the fact that groups representing hundreds of thousands of people of color are calling on him to change his team’s name. There is nothing ‘fun’ about his desire to continue promoting, marketing and profiting from a term screamed at Native Americans as they were dragged at gunpoint off their lands. Mr. Snyder would know there’s nothing ‘fun’ about this had he not refused to meet with the scores of Native American groups who are urging him to change the mascot and stop mocking their culture.”
“We are certainly glad to see that after decades of silence, Mr. Snyder suddenly has an interest in the plight of Native Americans. Some of the money he recently spent was for burgundy and gold parks adorned with the very mascot and epithet that Native Americans are imploring him to change. He doesn’t understand a simple fact: No matter how much of his fortune he spends trying to convince the world that slurring people of color is acceptable, it is not. The more he clings to this racist epithet, the more he walks in the footsteps of his predecessor the segregationist George Preston Marshall**, who originally gave the team this hideous name. If Mr. Snyder truly wants to help Indian Country then he could provide financial support, while at the same time ending his callous use of this racist epithet that hurts Native Americans.”
By Erik Brady
Tuesday, they accused Snyder directly of using the same tactic.
"In the last few months, various employees of the Washington football team have denigrated people of color by pretending they are not part of the campaign to change the team's name," Oneida Nation representative Ray Halbritter told USA TODAY Sports.
"In deliberately ignoring the countless number of people of color who are the core of this campaign, this sadly common form of bigotry pretends people of color do not exist. As of this week, we now know this ugly tactic is being pushed directly by the owner of the Washington team."
Dan Snyder Says PR Campaign to Defend “Redskins” Is Not PR
The Washington NFL team owner's latest attempt at sincerity falls flat.
By Benjamin Freed
And don’t forget to whom Snyder gave this interview: Cooley, who agreed with Snyder’s every word, works for a station owned by Red Zebra Broadcasting, which is owned by none other than Dan Snyder. The former tight end is also one of the ex-players attached to RedskinsFacts.com, ostensibly launched last month by a grassroots network of team alumni but, in actuality, set up for the team by spin factory Burson-Marsteller.
What was that about not having PR people do this stuff?
By Christopher L. Gasper
What’s in a name? If you’re the Redskins it’s a stubborn disregard for the feelings of Native Americans who find it demeaning and offensive and an irrational fear of losing your NFL identity.
His defense of the name is the staunchest defense Washington has played in a few years.
By John Wagner
O’Malley (D)—who presides in the state where the Redskins’ home games are played—voiced support for a name change Monday during an appearance on the Fusion television network.
“We hope that in every generation we become more understanding of one another, more inclusive as a people, and more respectful of the dignity of every individual and every culture, so I think it probably is time for the Redskins to change their name,” O’Malley told host Jorge Ramos while a guest on his show “America.”
Aides said Tuesday that they could not immediately recall O’Malley talking about the subject publicly before.