Perhaps nothing will change. Synder will probably ignore Obama and it will be business as usual in the Redskins front office.
Lanny Davis, a Redskins attorney, said the name is “our history and legacy and tradition.”
“We at the Redskins respect everyone,” Davis said in a statement. “But like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks (from President Obama’s home town), we love our team and its name and, like those fans, we do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group.”
Davis doesn’t get it – and he’s not trying to get it. The other nicknames Davis mentioned are not racially offensive.
Meanwhile, Robert Klemko, a writer for “Monday Morning Quarterback,” a Sports Illustrated website, announced that the site will no longer use the “Redskins” name.
“I know that our site, we’ve talked about it, and we’re not going to use Redskins in our writing,” Klemko told CBS Sports Radio. “We’re going to say ‘Washington football team.’ And it’s not something we’re going to publicize or write about. We’re just not going to do it.”
Good for Klemko.
Native Americans have been fighting to get the Washington Redskins to change its name for the past 40 years when about a dozen American Indian representatives in 1972 demanded of then-team President Edward Bennett Williams that the Redskins get rid of a nickname they characterized as a “derogatory racial epithet.”
Undoubtedly, there will be those who will read this column and be angry. Outside my barber shop recently, a black man bristled at the notion of changing the name of his beloved Redskins. But minutes earlier, the same brother also argued that Obama must aggressively address the concerns of black people in America.
So Obama should push an agenda for African Americans but ignore Native Americans who view the Washington Redskins nickname as racist?
Obama admits that he is more familiar with basketball than football, but the Redskins nickname is more about racism – something the president knows all too well.