OK, once again I’m paraphrasing a bit. As you’re probably aware, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder recently responded to the growing call for the club to change their name to, y’know, something less likely to be confused with a racial slur, by insisting the matter was not up for discussion. Ever. Tackling this topic with his usual degree of sophistication, Sirius/XM’s Chris Russo opined Tuesday this was “a non-story”, surmising that if “an Indian school in Arizona” had no problem with their own team being named the Redskins, why should anyone else complain?
Taking a different approach to Synder’s stubbornness, however, was U.S. Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC – D), who in chatting with Luke Russert on MSNBC earlier today, argued, “ I’m not surprised that most Americans don’t see any harm in the word. Most of us have had to be educated by Native Americans, who after all, are only less than two percent of the population. They don’t exactly have a microphone every day. If it were African Americans, you’d know all about it.” From DC Sports Bog’s Dan Steinberg :
“Let me tell you something about (Snyder’s) attitude, because that’s what’s disturbing,” Norton said. “Look, the man inherited the name, so what principle is he standing on? This is the same Dan Snyder that sued a paper here, the City Paper, which wrote an article that was very critical of his management of the Redskins. But the centerpiece of his suit was a photo that he said disparaged him as a Jew. So here is a man who has shown sensibilities based on his own ethnic identity, who refuses to recognize the sensibilities of American Indians….This is not about the First Amendment. This is about branding, whether you can use a brand that disparages an ethnic group. And the fact that the NCAA now bars the use of such names, and that all over America they are being dropped, he has to come forward — it seems to me — with why this ‘never [change]‘ statement amounts to a principle.”