a letter to season-ticket holders, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder laid out his case for why his team’s nickname shouldn’t be changed.
He told fans that the name is a badge of honour, and urged people to “respect” the years of tradition and memories that the name connotes for many people, including himself.
Here are the most important two paragraphs:
“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.”
He continued, “The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honour.”
Snyder also cites the infamous study that found that 90% of Native Americans aren’t offended by the name — a study that has been derided as flawed since it came out in 2004.
The obvious counterpoint is that things like “tradition” and “memories” should be secondary to the continued use of an arguably derogatory term that reduces a person’s identity to their skin colour.
But Snyder is really digging in here at a time when the controversy over the name is as loud as it has ever been.
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