Dan Snyder is that rare person who comes off as even more despicable when he's trying to be thoughtful than when he's just openly being a prick. Case in point: this hilariously tone deaf open letter to "Everyone in our Redskins Nation" (kind of like a reservation!) in defense of the team's nickname, throwing out the same empty references to PRIDE and citing the same public opinion polls that the Skins have always used. As always, I support changing the name "Redskins" simply because FUCK SNYDER. But here is Nice Dan Snyder (no all caps!) begging the public to see his side (or should I say pride?) of things:
I still remember my first Redskins game... The ground beneath me seemed to move and shake, and I reached up to grab my father’s hand. The smile on his face as he sang that song ... he’s been gone for 10 years now, but that smile, and his pride, are still with me every day.
Please note that Snyder's supposedly rabid childhood fandom of this team is likely a complete load of shit. In that description of his first game, he never mentions any actual specifics of game play: the opponent, the score, etc. His supposed favorite player (and current lackey) Sonny Jurgensen was no longer the full-time starter for the team by time Snyder was six years old. I bet he didn't even go to that first game, electing to fire BBs at the help instead. But by all means, support the Redskins because MY FATHER DIED.
As some of you may know...
Some of our more LEARNED REDSKINS NATION CITIZENS...
...our team began 81 years ago — in 1932 — with the name “Boston Braves.” The following year, the franchise name was changed to the “Boston Redskins.” On that inaugural Redskins team, four players and our Head Coach were Native Americans. The name was never a label. It was, and continues to be, a badge of honor.
That Native American head coach? Probably not actually a Native American!
I’ve listened carefully to the commentary and perspectives on all sides, and I respect the feelings of those who are offended by the team name. But I hope such individuals also try to respect what the name means, not only for all of us in the extended Washington Redskins family, but among Native Americans too.
"How dare you people try to slur the good name of the Redskins by referring to them as Redskins!" This is the perfect "No, YOU are the asshole" move. Quick, everyone! Redskins Nation is under attack! We need to circle the wagon train and fend off these filthy, savage LIBRULS, or else they'll kill us all, steal our team's land, and end up using the term "Redskin" as some kind of cartoonishly offensive moniker!
I respect the opinions of those who disagree.
Fuck you. You are a liar.
We cannot ignore our 81-year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country. After 81 years, the team name “Redskins” continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come.
Again, this is meaningless bullshit. It's the name of an NFL team. We're not talking about some precious cultural artifact. Changing the name Redskins to whatever isn't tantamount to penciling in a mustache on the Mona Lisa. It's a brand. We cannot ignore our history, or else we'll be doomed to repeat it! Or something!
We are Redskins Nation and we owe it to our fans and coaches and players, past and present, to preserve that heritage.
The beauty of Snyder's shit-gurgling here is that all you have to do is shout out PC POLICE and you can effectively paint the opposition as whiny bitches without even minimal effort. It doesn't matter that Snyder uses dubious historical factoids, or that he can simply yell out HERITAGE and 81 YEARS and expect that to justify everything. All he has to do is turn it into another empty "us vs. them" political battle and he can find sympathizers, even if he still happens to be one of the most repugnant human beings to walk the face of the Earth.
Snyder has long made the argument that, in football terms, the name "Redskins" has a completely separate and unrelated meaning. And you know what? He's right. When I think of the name Redskins, I don't think of Native Americans. I think of a team that extracts exorbitant parking lot fees out of its fans, sues elderly season ticket holders, plays in a vacated foundation hole of a stadium, and spews any lie it possibly can to keep the money rolling in. That's what I think of when I think of the Redskins. That's your "heritage." Maybe you shouldn't be so fucking proud of it.