Opinion | Sports

Column: Owner is the real 'obstacle' with Washington NFL team

The logo for the Change the Mascot campaign

New York Times columnist argues that the racist mascot of the Washington NFL is the least of worries for owner Dan Snyder:
Snyder has insisted that the name is not racist, that some American Indians — at least those whom he said he has spoken with — don’t mind the name. In a letter last March, Snyder announced the formation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, designed “to work as partners to tackle troubling realities facing so many tribes across the nation.”

In a letter posted on the team’s website, Snyder referred to tribal leaders who he said had told him that they and other American Indians did not object to the team’s nickname. The letter added that the same American Indians felt there were more perilous issues facing them that could be helped by Snyder’s foundation. But the timing and the public nature of the letter were the sort of opportunism that made the skin crawl.

Snyder has also made it perfectly clear that he will not change his team’s racist name in this life or the next, critics be damned.

Last week, the Oklahoma City school board voted, 8-0, to remove the 88-year-old Redskins mascot at Capitol Hill High School. The vote was taken after the board heard students, teachers and a district official describe how the nickname is offensive and harmful, especially to American Indian students.

With protests against racial inequality happening around the world, Snyder continues to play small, propping himself in the schoolhouse door proclaiming ’Skins now, ’Skins forever.

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William C. Rhoden: History Continues to Repeat for a Struggling Franchise (The New York Times 12/15)

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