In a letter to fans Monday night, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder announced he had established an organization dedicated to providing aid and assistance to Native Americans.
The Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation aims to “provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities,” Snyder wrote.
“With open arms and determined minds, we will work as partners to begin to tackle the troubling realities facing so many tribes across our country,” Snyder said of the organization, which will be unveiled on Tuesday.
In the letter, Snyder said he visited 26 tribal reservations in a four-month period.
“The more I heard, the more I’ve learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community,” Snyder said. “In speaking face-to-face with Native American leaders and community members, it’s plain to see they need action, not words.”
The organization distributed more than 3,000 coats this winter, Snyder said. More than 40 other projects are in the works, he said.
Of his trip to visit the tribes, Snyder wrote: “I wanted and needed to hear firsthand what Native Americans truly thought of our name, our logo, and whether we were, in fact, upholding the principle of respect in regard to the Native American community.”
In the letter, he referenced a discussion he had with Torres-Martinez Desert Cahuila Indians Chairwoman Mary L. Resvaloso, who told him that “(there) are Native Americans everywhere that 100 percent support the name.”
With regard to the Redskins’ name, Snyder said he “(believes) even more firmly now” that it should remain unchanged. The name “captures the best of who we are and who we can be,” Snyder wrote.
“I’ve been encouraged by the thousands of fans across the country who support keeping the Redskins tradition alive. Most — by overwhelming majorities — find our name to be rooted in pride for our shared heritage and values,” Snyder said in his letter Monday.
On Monday, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell was asked about opposition to the name, which doesn’t figure to fade away even as Snyder digs in on the issue.
“We have, I think, done a very thorough job of making sure that we understand all perspectives on this and we will continue to do that,” Goodell said.
There have numerous public calls for the Redskins to change their name, with pressure even coming from multiple members of Congress.