Washington owner Daniel Snyder claims he and his staff have visited 26 Indian reservations to gauge opinions regarding his team’s continue use of the Redskins nickname, and on Tuesday, Synder plans to announce the formation of “the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation”, which is essentially his way of saying America’s indigenous peoples have bigger problems than his gross insensitivity (“I believe the Washington Redskins community should commit to making a real, lasting, positive impact on Native American quality of life—one tribe and one person at a time,”) From the Washington Post’s Mike Jones :
“The more I heard, the more I’ve learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community,” Snyder wrote. “In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it’s plain to see they need action, not words.”
Snyder’s announcement drew criticism from the Oneida Indian Nation, a New York tribe that has emerged as one of the most vocal opponents to the name. In a statement released late Monday, tribal representative Ray Halbritter reiterated the Oneidas’ hope that Snyder will change the name.
“We are glad that after more than a decade of owning the Washington team, Mr. Snyder is finally interested in Native American heritage, and we are hopeful that when his team finally stands on the right side of history and changes its name, he will honor the commitment to Native Americans that he is making today,” Halbritter’s statement read. ”We are also hopeful that in his new initiative to honor Native Americans’ struggle, Mr. Snyder makes sure people do not forget that he and his predecessor, George Preston Marshall, a famous segregationist, have made our people’s lives so much more difficult by using a racial slur as Washington’s team’s name.”
Snyder said in the letter that the Redskins have already donated more than 3,000 coats to several tribes, as well as shoes to boys’ and girls’ basketball teams on reservations, and that the franchise helped purchase a backhoe for the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska.