The creation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation by team owner Dan Snyder, who insists he won’t change his NFL’s team name that many find offensive and racist, has been met with derision by the staff at Indian Country Today Media Network.
ICTMN calls Snyder’s letter announcing the foundation “rife with self-satisfaction and misdirection, repeatedly emphasizing all the wonderful ways the Redskins, through the foundation, might help Indian country, with no mention of the elephant in the room: The widespread objection in Indian country to the team’s name.”
ICTMN wasn’t alone.
“We’re glad that after a decade of owning the Washington team, Mr. Snyder finally says he is interested in Native American heritage, but this doesn’t change the fact that he needs to stand on the right side of history and change his team’s name,” Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter said in a statement to ThinkProgress.
Suzan Shown Harjo, who has led the legal charge against the name for decades, called the foundation “a stunt.”
“Supposedly it’s a change of heart,” Harjo said, “but it’s not a change of mind. And it’s not a change of name.”
In his letter, Snyder says, “Our efforts will address the urgent challenges plaguing Indian country based on what Tribal leaders tell us they need most. We may have created this new organization, but the direction of the Foundation is truly theirs.”
Says ICTMN, “Such willingness to let Indians say what is most beneficial for Indians does not, obviously, extend to his football team’s name.”
- Vince Devlin