As part of what we can only imagine is a PR offensive to combat the negative publicity associated with the Redskins name, team owner Daniel Snyder sat down Tuesday for a lengthy interview, which will air in the coming weeks.
When ESPN interviewer John Barr asked Snyder "What is a Redskin," the owner, who has previously vowed to never change the team's name, offered this:
“A Redskin is a football player,” Snyder said, via the Washington Post's Sports Bog. “A Redskin is our fans. The Washington Redskin fan base represents honor, represents respect, represents pride. Hopefully winning. And it's a positive. Taken out of context -- you can take things out of context all over the place -- but in this particular case, it is what it is. It's very obvious.”
Also very obvious: Snyder's critics disagree with him. That includes the United States Patent and Trademark Office, which in June canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration because it considered the team's name “disparaging to Native Americans."
Barr then asked Snyder, “For people who don't know you and don't understand where you're coming from on this issue, what can you share with them that will help them understand what really motivates you as far as your position on the issue of the team name?”
Snyder's response: “It's what the name actually means. I would like people to know the history. Whether it's Lone Star Dietz, whether it's Walter ‘Blackie' Wetzel in Montana, it's just historical truths. And I'd like them to understand -- as I think most do -- that the name really means honor, respect.
“We sing ‘Hail to the Redskins.' We don't say 'hurt anybody',” Snyder continued. “We sing ‘Hail to the Redskins, braves on the warpath, fight for old D.C.' We only sing it when we score touchdowns. That's the problem, because last season we didn't sing it quite enough, as we would have liked to.”