Opinion | Sports

Column: Dan Snyder's new charity comes with strings attached

#Not4Sale: Native women like Jacqueline Keeler send a message to Dan Snyder. Photo from Twitter

Columnist Mike Wise questions sincerity behind the "Original Americans Foundation" started by the owner of the Washington professional football team:
Jennie Stockle is a 34-year-old mother of three who, along with several other mothers of American Indian children, posted a selfie with a $10 bill across her mouth on Twitter Tuesday morning. The photo was under the heading, “Dan Snyder being a friend means listening — not buying silence.”

You ask her what she thinks about the charitable foundation set up for Native Americans by the owner of the Washington football team.

“It’s the old colonial playbook, divide and conquer,” she says by telephone from her home in Claremore, Okla. “He’s basically turning Native Americans against each other on this issue. He’s saying, ‘We’ll trade you coats and a backhoe for your silence on the name.’ It makes me sad. It makes me angry.”

I’m actually going to give Snyder the benefit of the doubt on this much: He may have witnessed something so horrible and depressing — maybe a child sleeping in a hut on a floor or a diabetic father who lost his leg because he had no health insurance — on one of the 26 reservations Snyder or his representatives visited in the past year that he was compelled to give.

Regardless of whether he traveled to Indian country solely to protect his brand, he finally made this debate about what it always should have been about: the plight of modern American Indians.

But that’s where the credit for his charitable endeavors in this matter ends.

Get the Story:
Mike Wise: Latest nickname outreach is a step, but without a direction (The Washington Post 3/26)

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