Some believe that the name of Richard Nixon’s favorite team will change in the same way that Nixon’s presidency ended, 40 years ago today. Others who were able to influence Nixon persuaded him to give up the fight against impeachment and walk away voluntarily.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder eventually could have a similar experience, with a handful of influential owners privately persuading him that Snyder’s personal interpretation of the name is irrelevant to the manner in which the name is interpreted by others.
For that to happen, other owners would have to be sufficiently troubled by the name to try to persuade Snyder to change it. Via the Washington Post, Snyder’s interview with ESPN’s Outside the Lines addresses that issue.
“They’ve been very very supportive,” Snyder said of his fellow owners. “It’s been great.”
“So you’ve not heard one dissenting voice from within the NFL community?” ESPN’s John Barr said.
“It’s been great support,” Snyder said. “I think that whether it’s the owners or people at the league, most people understand what the team name means. They look at is as we all do: As honor, respect.”
Snyder avoided answering whether he has privately heard “one dissenting voice” from within the NFL. And to the extent that other owners have been “very supportive,” who are they? And why haven’t they expressed the support publicly, where Snyder and the team need it most?
The other owners have been silent because they don’t want the effort to change the name to land on their doorstep, via arguments like the one raised to Vikings owner Zygi Wilf regarding the profits his team realizes from the name through revenue sharing.
In the past, it was easy for other owners to stay quiet on the issue because Snyder wasn’t saying much about it. Now that he suddenly has decided to personally make the case, it’s appropriate to pose the question to other others, and to expect an answer more direct than the one Snyder gave as to whether he has heard “one dissenting voice” within the league.