Ashburn, Va. — Washington Redskins Owner, Dan Snyder, wrote a letter to the franchise’s fans on Wednesday, giving likely the most detailed reasoning of why he has remained firm in his decision to not change the team’s name.
The letter, which can be read here (via Washington Post), was received by Washington Redskins season ticket holders Wednesday, only four days after President Obama gave his opinion on the matter.
Snyder recalls his childhood and his first experience at RFK Stadium (former home to the Redskins) with his father, stating that the “Redskins” name, ”is more than a name we have called our football team… It is a symbol of everything we stand for: strength, courage, pride, and respect — the same values we know guide Native Americans…”
Redskins fans are sure to feel empowered by this sincere letter, but the real question is, are the critics convinced?
Up until now, Snyder has not offered much of an explanation about why he is passionate about keeping the “Redskins” name, even after the expressed disinterest by some who believe the name to be offensive to Native Americans as well as the request for change given by Congressional members. Snyder has received constant criticism of being selfish and stubborn, but his letter just might prove otherwise.
Overall, this was a great PR move for the owner. By telling a story that likely resonates in most Redskins fans (and sports fans in general), apologizing to those he has offended, but also persuading them to relate the term “Redskins” to have a prideful connotation instead of a derogatory one, Dan Snyder proves to his adversaries that though he is unyielding, it is for a reason–and a very good one at that.
Whether or not the war is won, for now take a deep breath ‘Skins fans, you have won this battle.