Dan Snyder Is Pig Headed About Redskins’ Name Change

June 24, 2014 3:13 PM25 comments

The Washington Redskins are under fire because people find the team name distasteful and offensive. But, I’m not sure how they’re going to replace the word “Washington.”

All kidding aside, The United States Patent and Trademark office have now weighed in on this ongoing controversy. The office cancelled six federal trademarks owned by the tram, saying the term “Redskins” was disparaging to “a substantial composite” of American Indians.
This ruling means that anyone can now create products using the team’s name without authorization.

Pirated products. Cheap knock-offs. Now all of us can act like China.

Every man or woman has to pick a hill he or she will die on. A cause so near and dear to your heart that he will fight to the bitter end. That nothing – not loss of wealth or health or love or reputation will stand in the way of her mission.

Oddly enough, it appears that the owner of the Washington Redskins, Daniel Snyder, is willing to die on infamous Redskins Hill. What an absolutely foolish hill to plant your flag on. Snyder is a man who has everything, yet is willing to risk it all to stand boldly in favor of bigotry.

I’m sure the term Redskins was hunky dory at one time. Like before the civil rights movement and the gay rights movement. At a time when Archie Bunker was considered a mainstream kind of guy.

Daniel Snyder defends his position by saying that the Redskins name is part of a long tradition. But just because something has gone on for a long time doesn’t make it right or moral. In fact, most ancient traditions are somewhat backward or even barbaric seen through a modern lens.

Clearly, our country has become more enlightened in the past few decades. We can now see that things we once considered traditional values are really valueless traditions.

For example, once upon a time our nation endorsed slavery. At one time, women couldn’t vote. Gay people had to hide in the closet. There was even a time when Republican didn’t automatically mean irrational and closed minded, as difficult as that may be to believe. But times change. People evolve with knowledge that gives them the ability to see the world in a new light.

To still use the name “Redskins,” even though Native Americans have repeatedly and clearly said it is demeaning, is outrageous, obnoxious and offensive.
Mr. Snyder, is vigorously fighting to keep a doomed, anachronistic name for your team the hill you want to metaphorically die on? Seriously? This is how you want to be remembered? This is how you want history to mark your life?

One would think a savvy businessman like Snyder would actually see an opportunity in changing the team’s name. He could sell all the remaining team paraphernalia as collector’s items.

Of course, most fans wouldn’t want to wear the offensive old name – so they would buy spanking new Washington football gear. This means tons of t-shirts, hats, sweatshirts, headbands, coffee mugs, footballs, and socks with the new team name.

Ka-ching! That’s the sound of some serious coin flowing into Snyder’s bank if he created a new name and logo. It is beyond astounding that Snyder is so blinded by legitimate criticism that he can’t see a name change as a financial boon for his franchise.

In the heyday of this football team, the offensive line was called “the hogs.” And in this tradition, Dan Snyder should put one of those plastic snouts they sell at the stadium on his face. Because is being pig headed.

Congresswoman Betty McCollum, a Democrat from Minnesota said it best:

“Be a hero to Native American children who suffer from self-esteem issues. Raise the level of integrity in the NFL. Be a hero. Say that times have changed, and you’re changing with them.”

If Snyder doesn’t come around and do what’s right, the National Football League needs to step in and force a name change. Right now they are fumbling on a controversial issue that won’t go away. It is an embarrassment to the league and tarnishes the NFL brand to have a team called the Redskins.

The league should want its fans discussing football, not foolishness. This is an ugly sideshow and a distraction that the NFL must end sooner than later.

 


Wayne Besen is a columnist and author of the book “Anything But Straight: Unmasking the Scandals and Lies Behind the Ex-Gay Myth.”

  • John Deere

    Yeah. You’re right. The name is soo wrong. I’ve checked 3 different websites. Not one of them is saying the redskins name is racist. I mean, did you do enough research to know that there’s an actual website that is all American Indians for support of the name. YOU ARE WHITE. Who do you think you are to say the name is offensive. My grandfather was cherokee, I know Ottawa also that have no problem. The fact is, nobody asks them. Do your research pal and see where the name redskin actually came from

    • Casey Jones

      Wayne Bessen you are clearly a biased dolt who represents everything that is wrong with the insanity known as progressivism.
      Not only that but you are deceptive too. Most fans wouldn’t want to wear the old name? That’s just a flat out lie. Sure, there are people out there like you who are jumping the pc bandwagon on this, and being offended by everything seems to be held in high esteem these days (now that’s progress for ya) but you are still in the minority on this by a long shot. There are plenty of non-racists and native Americans who are in favor of keeping the name what it is.

      And the congresswoman saying that changing the name of an NFL football team would somehow affect the self esteem issues of native american children? So basically native American children suffer from low self esteem because DC’s football team calls itself the Redskins. What planet are you “progressives” from anyway?

      You obviously find fault with Dan Snyder for not selling out (mentioning the financial angle on this), and that selling out is somehow a virtuous act.

      Right now, I really hope Snyder continues to stand up to this pc nonsense. Because this whole name change business isn’t being driven by native Americans. It is being driven primarily by white, leftist, pc wimps like you.

  • Wayne Besen

    John Deere — you are asking me to do my research? Who do you think you are fooling? Please save your nonsense for the FOX News crowd. It goes nowhere with me and those who can engage in the act of critical thinking.

    FACT: The National Congress of American Indians has joined in the opposition to the name Redskins, issuing a video that consists of leaders from seven different tribes: Cathy Abramson, Councilmember, Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians; Al Goozmer, President, Tyonek Native Village of Alaska; Brian Cladoosby, Chairman, Swinomish Indian Tribal Community and President, NCAI; Edwina Butler Wolfe, Governor, Absentee Shawnee Tribe of Oklahoma; Leander McDonald, Tribal Chairman, Spirit Lake Tribe; Dennis Welsh, Chairman, Colorado River Indian Tribes; Candace Bossard, Councilmember, Ponca Tribe of Nebraska.

    If your grandfather truly was Cherokee, he no doubt would be deeply ashamed by you.

  • Joe

    Dan Snyder is Jewish, so describing him as “pig headed” is, at best, a poor choice of words. It also undermines Wayne Besen’s argument concerning the alleged offensiveness of the Washington Redskins team name.

    • Wayne Besen

      Hey, Einstein, I’m Jewish too. So save your lectures.

      • Casey Jones

        Then you should know better than to be a hypocrite.

  • jay

    Please can someone find something better to argue about that has some importance in Washington. The only time the Native Americans have been relevant in headline news in a very long time they have a problem with a sports team, find a why to help your ppl get some other success . The only reason I would support a name change is to shut up irrelevant people. #redskindc4ever

  • jay

    This is starting a negative view of all native americans for me and a lot of ppl i know not the kinda press i think anyone ways going for

  • jay

    pig headed as Besen, this isnt a gay thing so stop swinging ur story that way

    • John Deere

      Hey wayne. Fact. The nca does not represent all American Indian tribes. Like I said, do your research. Indians came up with the name redskin. Like I said, you’re white and you don’t get a say. Research the other side of how there are many Indians that like the name. I mean if it truly is inappropriate, why is there a Navajo school called the redskins??? Just like ray hitter is supposedly Indian ( in fact news came out that he’s only one eighth) and from the Oneida, there is plenty of Oneida that do love the name. You, Harry Reid, and everyone else only talk about one side. Now there is a redskin pride movement that is building momentum in Virginia that is rapidly growing. And guess what. It’s full of American Indians. (Fact)

      • Wayne Besen

        So, John, you are picking and choosing which tribal leaders matter? Of course they don’t represent ALL Indian tribes. No organized group ever represents all of its members, since people are individuals. However, the fact that many Native Americans find the name offensive, is enough to consider a change.

    • Wayne Besen

      Jay, you must be under the impression that I only do LGBT advocacy. In fact, I’m a talk radio host for WCPT in Chicago — and my show is about all political issues, including the one I wrote about. I am also the founder of the Center Against Religious Extremism, which doesn’t just deal with gay rights.

      So…I do the “gay thing,” and the not so gay thing. Just wanted to let you know.

      • John Deere

        Then according to you, everytime someone has an issue with something we change it? Do you realize if the team does lose its name it still cam keep its logo. The team still will have common law rights to protect itself. And if by chance it didn’t have that, people will make their own redskin item’s which in turn will spread the name even more and defeating the purpose of the whole argument. The name isn’t just going to go away. It never wil. As long as there is fans, the name will stay forever. Also, I know short people that are offended by the giants, do we change that also? I think not. I personally can’t wait for the anti name change movement to continue to grow and let our voices be heard. HTTR!!!

        • Wayne Besen

          Well, good luck with that. We will win. You will lose. Guaranteed.

          • John Deere

            Lmao! You should know nothing in life is guaranteed. Like I said, all you guys are doing is lighting a fire. The name isn’t going anywhere. In some shape of form, it will always be around. It’s people like you that I despise. We as a people are suppose to be tolerant. There’s all kinds of things that offend me. But I tolerate it. If people don’t like the name, don’t but merchandise, or go to games. But who are you to take it away from the fans. All youre doing is trying to bully the fans into submission and it’s not ever going to happen. There’s millions of fans and even more that like the name. What are you going to do about that?

          • Wayne Besen

            John…as sure as the sun rises and sets, the name will be changed.

          • John Deere

            Keep thinkn it will. People will still wear the name and show up at games still wearing redskins gear. Just like the bullets changed their name to the wizards. Because of all the crime. And guess what, still just as bad crime and they still use the bullets jersey. Just like trying to change the name because it’s offensive, they’ll still will use the redskins name and all this wll be forgotten. I mean, the original case was thrown out because there wasn’t enough proof that the name is disparaging. .guess what, they still don’t have enough proof..you know what maybe they’ll move to rich mond..love the sound of that..Richmond Redskins. .rols right off the tongue HTTR forever

          • Casey Jones

            All bow to the almighty pc machine, right Wayne?

        • Shari Hilleveld

          I totally agree with you. HTTR!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Arthur Hall

    There is nothing offensive about the Redskin name.

    I used to work as an EMT on a reservation, my crew and I were called way more offensive names by indians than the term Redskins. We were threatened and punched many times, just for trying to help. Oh and this was by indians with names like Kills-Whiteman.

    How is that name not offensive?

    I find it a little more offensive than then football team name!

  • Shari Hilleveld

    This has gotton so far out of hand. I am so disgusted with the politicians, especially Harry Reid. Who gives a hoot if he doesn’t go to a home game, until the name is changed. If he is so interested in the Native Americans, why doesn’t put his efforts into improving making their living environment on the reservations. Now, this would be a positive action…he needs to set his priorities straight. HTTR!!!!!!!!! Now and forever

    • John Deere

      We as redskins fans should draw up a petition and send it to Washington or to the trademark courts. We need to be heard more other then the negativity. Not one of these instances do I hear that they’ve visitid reservations. Like I told wayne, there is a redskin s pride start up in va

  • Arthur Hall

    I just read that a high school in Washington State had the name Redskins and just changed it. I find it really sad that they felt the need to give in!

    This high school had been the Redskins for 88 years. Tradition is important they should not have changed their name. I hope the NFL Redskins stick to their guns!!!

    If they change their name where does it stop? Do we all start giving
    in to a few wusses who are offended until we are all the same and we all think and act the same?

    Isn’t that similar to Communism? I thought this was America!

  • Herr Komentariat

    The Translator rejects the “hunky dory”. Gives me “attractive dory”. What is this dory? Cousin from America tell me Bunker and son Head of Meat are racist. Of fiction. Is strange to understand USA role model.

  • Shari Hilleveld

    John, I agree with starting a petition, I will be the first to say, I have no idea where to start. The fans need to be heard and I am so disgusted with all this political stuff. I am 65 years old and this issue has created so much negativity we as loyal fans need to step up and fight for what we want. This “offensive” issue will affect teams from every sport. I think the Cleveland Indians mascot is goofy looking and makes fun of Indians. I am OK with leaving Washington and move to Richmond and be the Richmond Redskins. Hail Shari

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