“We'll never change the name, it's that simple. NEVER – you can use caps.”
Those are the words Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder used to respond to questions about switching the team’s name to something less racially insensitive.
Can’t say I’m surprised.
The ‘Skins are currently facing a public relation storm, brought to light by a federal trademark lawsuit identifying the racial insensitivity of the name.
"We will never change the name of the team," Snyder told USA TODAY Sports this week. "As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season."
The issue of whether the name is appropriate or not has gone on for years. It’s a peaks and valleys thing, where some years it’s a significant issue, and other years, you don’t hear about it at all.
There isn’t much question that the name is problematic, but what’s unnerving is the arrogance in Snyder’s statement. He didn’t pretend to respect the opposing argument, nor did he even say he would consider it. His response was disrespectful, mean and full of white privilege.
Truth is, it’s better this way.
If Snyder would have given the clichéd Washington spin, it would only give false hope. The people fighting for the change may have thought it was possible, that progress is on the table. It is, however begrudgingly, not on the table. This is a not a new fight, people have protested and battled against this before with zero results. Even as colleges like St. John’s changed their mascot name (going from Redman to Red Storm), the ‘Skins have remained steadfast in their refusal.
This will not be an issue until the actual paying fans, make it so, and not a moment sooner. Snyder’s arrogance is the least of the issues.