Daniel Snyder Defends Use of Redskins Name, Says it’s a Symbol of Courage, Respect

Jabar GaffneyWhile the debate about the Washington football team’s nickname rages, team owner Dan Snyder took time out of his day Wednesday to pen a letter to Washington Redskins Nation on the team’s website explaining his beliefs about the name.

Months after remarking that the Redskins will “NEVER” change its nickname, Snyder gave some insight to the history of the name. On the inaugural Redskins team, Snyder wrote, four players and the head coach were Native Americans, which makes the name a “badge of honor.”

“‘Washington Redskins’ is more than a name we have called our football team for over eight decades,” he wrote. “It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect.”

Snyder went on to cite two polls, the results of which were that some Native Americans don’t find the name racist, and some people believe that the name shouldn’t be changed.

“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.”

President Barack Obama recently said that if he were the Redskins’ owner, he would think about changing the team name. It looks like not even that will derail Snyder.

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