Why Daniel Snyder should be more controversial

By | September 28, 2007
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This post is part of a series of a post idea conceived by MCBias of Moderately Cerebral Bias. For more NFL entities who should be more controversial, check out his site.

(Update: MC Bias’s post “Jesus Christ Should Be Controversial” can be found here and Pacifist Viking’s post on the Controversialness of NFL Coaches is here. Enjoy.)

Daniel Snyder has owned the Washington Redskins since May of 1999. During this time, the once proud franchise has floundered in mediocrity. Many point the finger at Snyder for the Redskins’ ineptitude, claiming he has “meddled” in personnel decisions in which he has had little or no knowledge. Although Snyder has backed down slightly since Head Coach Joe Gibbs took the helm in 2004, his ownership style is still held in the same class as Jerry Jones, Al Davis, and baseball’s George Steinbrenner.

But personnel issues are only a small part of why Daniel Snyder should be criticized. Signing Jeff George and Deion Sanders is a small problem compared to an issue Snyder neglects to address every year. One that should have been dealt with long ago – the name of his team.

According to Wikipedia, in the last 10 years, the name “Redskin” has been removed by numerous sports programs throughout the country. From Tallahassee, FL to Highland, MI, people are coming to the realization that “redskins” is seen as a derogatory term and unlike certain college names, “Redskins” does not in any way honor or fairly represent the ethnic group from which it derives. For all his moves on the field, Daniel Snyder has yet to fix this major off-field problem.

Yet where is the uproar? Are Redskins’ fans ignorant of the nature of their team’s moniker? Or do they feel it is a trivial issue? And what of the mainstream media? To my knowledge, only Gregg Easterbrook of ESPN.com makes it a point to not call the Redskins the “Redskins”, opting instead for the “Potomac Drainage Basin Indigenous Persons” or the “Washington Nanticokes”.

Instead of general malaise, we as fans, the media, or even Congress, if necessary, should be pressuring Daniel Snyder to change the name of his team. Daniel Snyder’s ownership should be more controversial.

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6 thoughts on “Why Daniel Snyder should be more controversial

  1. Unsilent Majority

    The Redskins nickname has been a topic of discussion for a number of years. As a lifelong fan I’m not opposed to switching names, but it’s not something for which I actively campaign. A lot of fans probably wouldn’t mind reverting from the current helmet logo to the old feather or arrow logo. That might be a good start. Of course for Danny all that matters is merchandising.
    http://www.mvpgalleries.com/contactcommerce/images/items/GVL136.jpg

  2. stopmikelupica

    I’ve tried avoiding using their name in my posts. I just refer to the team as “Washington”.

    It’s ridiculous. I grew up a big St. John’s fan back when they rocked the equally appalling “Redmen” moniker. They got around to changing it in the early 90′s to th non-offensive “Red Storm”. As a fan, it didn’t bother me the least, and I supported the name change. They did it 15 years ago.

    It’s pure BS that it hasn’t been changed yet. The money from merchandising will still be there – their fans will still buy jerseys, hats, etc. even if the team’s name is the “Gray Pussies” or “The Baby Rapers”. They don’t give a f*ck, they’re fans. Just like I still support the St. John’s Red Storm.

    It’s even more ridiculous when you think about the fact that DC’s basketball team changed their names 15 years ago because it was offensive, but the football team carries on their slanderous name!

  3. MCBias

    It would be nice to get rid of all ethnic names all together, but I doubt that will happen soon (i.e. Vikings, Irish, as well). It just feels harsh to reduce any proud people group to a game and to a mascot.

  4. extrapolater

    OOh, I have a good one. Washington Devil Rays. That will get the Satanists back in the fold.

  5. Big Blue Monkey

    I’ve been blogging about this issue a lot lately, and it has stuck in my craw since way back in 1992, when I got to go to my first Drunken Savages game, and had to walk by a very dignified Native American protest. They are at every game, I guarantee you.

    The name is simply the most offensive name in all of sports.

    MC Bias raises an interesting point, and one I’ve used in my discussion of the Redskins moniker. If Irish-Americans rose up and decided that “Celtic” or “Fighting Irish” were offensive, guess how quickly those names would be changed? Within a week.

    Thing is, you are talking about audiences that identify, and are proud of those names. There isn’t a big Native American population around DC (you know, because of the extermination).

    I’ve had people argue that it isn’t the name that is racist, just the icongraphy. I point them to Frank L. Baum’s (yes, that one) editorial from 1890. I quote:

    With his fall the nobility of the Redskin is extinguished, and what few are left are a pack of whining curs who lick the hand that smites them. The Whites, by law of conquest, by justice of civilization, are masters of the American continent, and the best safety of the frontier settlements will be secured by the total annihilation of the few remaining Indians. Why not annihilation? Their glory has fled, their spirit broken, their manhood effaced; better that they die than live the miserable wretches that they are. History would forget these latter despicable beings, and speak, in later ages of the glory of these grand Kings of forest and plain that Cooper loved to heroism.

    Nope, nothing racist about that name!

  6. Anonymous

    As a Native American(Cheyenne/Potowatomi tribes),I’ve never understood why other minority groups have not supported us in our effort to end this blatantly racist nickname. I cringe when I see fans dressed up in head-dresses and warpaint and acting like idiots whenever the camera turns on them.
    It’s insulting to hear whites tell me that it is a name of honor. Until Dan Snyder does the right thing, this team will suffer.

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