With the president of the United States weighing in on the topic of the Redskins nickname, saying that perhaps a team name change is in order, and with Washington tight end Fred Davis declaring that he could see how the Redskins name could be offensive, it's now time to hear from owner Daniel Snyder.
He's written a long open letter to his fans, and (surprise!) it sounds like he's not interested in changing anything.
"I've listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and I respect the feelings of those who are offended by the team name," Snyder wrote, via the Washington Post. "But I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too."
Snyder goes on to defend his decision with some helpful bullet points. Thus, he cited the following:
- A poll that talked to nearly 1,000 Native Americans that concluded that 90 percent of them did not find the Redskins name to be offensive.
- In an AP poll earlier this year, 79 percent of respondents said they didn't have a problem with the name and that only 11 percent believed that it should be changed.
- In May, the Richmond Times Dispatch interviewed three leaders of Virginia Native American tribes and none was offended by the name.
Thus, Snyder isn't going to cave into pressure. His kicker:
Our franchise has a great history, tradition and legacy representing our proud alumni and literally tens of millions of loyal fans worldwide. We have participated in some of the greatest games in NFL history, and have won five World Championships. We are proud of our team and the passion of our loyal fans. Our fans sing "Hail to the Redskins" in celebration at every Redskins game. They speak proudly of "Redskins Nation" in honor of a sports team they love.
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.
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.
We are Redskins Nation and we owe it to our fans and coaches and players, past and present, to preserve that heritage.
And that, as they say, is that. (For now, at least.)