Why Dan Snyder is wrong
For many, including myself, Washington considering whether or not to offer a new deal to Keenum—potentially to serve as Dwayne Haskin’s backup—is small potatoes compared to other more pressing issues. In an interview with USA Today in 2013, Washington’s majority owner, Dan Snyder, asserted an unwavering commitment to keeping the team named the Redskins. Years later, after various decisions in federal court, it remains legal to register an offensive team name.
“We’ll never change the name,” [Snyder] said. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.” —Dan Synder, Redskins owner
However, I believe that on this point, Dan Snyder’s “never” stance will prove wrong, and the name will eventually change. I may not live to see it. But, I believe it will change because I believe in America. And the NFL thrives because of the people who support it, not the executives who own teams in legal documents.
As an Irish American from Texas with fair skin, who has spent some time working in the sun on the family’s ranch, I have to say—my neck turns red. So does my face—well, really every part of my body. Some friends have jokingly referred to me as SPF 100. And sunscreen helps quite a bit, but the sun seems to win even more than the Patriots in the Super Bowl.
But the term, redneck, in the wrong context to me is construable as offensive. So too, in my life, have I found offense with others making assumptions about people’s dispositions or emotions based on the redness of their faces. Even in grade school, when kids used to accuse me of blushing or being angry, it registered as offensive as I merely just finished giving it my all running flag football routes in recess.
That said, I have attended wonderful country concerts at a venue near Houston formerly called the Redneck Country Club. Nowhere within that context was the term redneck in any manner intended as derogatory—a point lost on some members of the national media to whom Texas remains merely an idea. The RCC, a stand-up establishment now rebranded as the Republic Country Club & BBQ, persists as a beacon of charity proudly supporting American soldiers with PTSD.
With empathy for others, I do not desire for anyone who finds offense with the term, redskin, to have to endure it as a namesake for a professional sports franchise any longer. After considerable thought, I think I have the right name for Washington’s NFL franchise. That’s not to say, I was first, a detail that is in no way important, by the way—but I would like to make an argument for why the proposed name would be right.