SBD/October 7, 2013/Franchises

Snyder Adamant Redskins' Name Will Not Change Despite Obama's Recent Comments

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Snyder's stance to stick with the name is under increased scrutiny
Redskins Owner Daniel Snyder continues to be "resolute about not changing the name" of the franchise despite President Obama's comments over the weekend regarding the situation, according to Peter King of THE MMQB. Obama suggested in an interview with the AP if a “'sizable' portion of a team’s fan base is offended by its nickname, the owner should consider changing it." But Redskins team attorney Lanny Davis was "strident" in saying people were taking Obama's comments "too far." Davis: "What is a sizable group? In 2004, the only sampling of Native Americans (on this issue) was taken in an Annenberg Poll. Nine of 10 said they were not offended by the nickname. We respect anyone who is offended, but it is not a reason to change our name. When we sing ‘Hail to the Redskins,’ it is not an attempt to dishonor anyone." Davis added, “I’d say the team is resolute, [Snyder] is resolute, 95 percent of our fans are resolute and 90 percent of Native Americans are resolute" (MMQB.SI.com, 10/7). Pro Football Talk's Mike Florio reported there is not scheduled to be any "discussion of the team’s name" at the NFL owners meeting that begins this week in DC. Florio: "If this ever goes down, I’m told to expect Commissioner Roger Goodell and a handful of select owners to approach Daniel Snyder privately." However, it does not appear Snyder is "inclined to consider changing the name." But NBC’s Tony Dungy said, "I hope Daniel Snyder does reconsider and change it. That Redskins nickname is offensive to Native Americans, and in 2013 we need to get that name changed" ("FNIA," NBC, 10/6).

STATING THEIR CASE: Fox' Jay Glazer reported Redskins Exec VP & GM Bruce Allen last week during a conference call with the owners "stated his case for why they wanted to keep the name." Glazer: "It's going to get pretty messy this week" ("Fox NFL Sunday," 10/6). Meanwhile, NBC’s Kristen Welker noted the Oneida Nation today is scheduled to hold a conference on the issue in DC. Republican strategist Mike Murphy said, "What’s next, the Minnesota Non-Violent Vikings? The Detroit Endangered Tigers? Unless we get a casino in exchange, I say balderdash." National Review's Rich Lowry: "If you change it, you ruin the parallelism of the Cowboys-Redskins rivalry. You can’t lose that" ("Meet the Press," NBC, 10/6).
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