Snyder says team name isn’t an issue, Halbritter disagrees


When it comes to the Redskins name, the two sides have become as entrenched as they can be.  The question becomes whether enough folks who don’t have an opinion — and enough of those who have an opinion but not a strong one — will ever swing one way or the other.

Until then, the team will continue to defend the name, and the opponents of the name will continue to challenge it.

On Tuesday, owner Daniel Snyder revisited the topic, from the perspective of the foundation that recently was created to assist Native American tribes.

“We understand the issues out there, and we’re not an issue,” Snyder said in rare public remarks, via the Associated Press.  “The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it’s time that people focus on reality.”

Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter has responded to the remarks.

“If Dan Snyder thinks it is acceptable for a billionaire to market, promote, and profit off of a dictionary defined racial slur, then he’s living in an alternate universe,” Halbritter said in a press release.  “If he wants to focus on reality, here’s a reality check:  The longer he insists on slurring Native Americans, the more damage he will keep doing to Native American communities, and the more he will become synonymous with infamous segregationist George Preston Marshall, who originally gave the team this offensive name.”

The opposition to the team’s name, which has lingered for more than 20 years, gained momentum in 2013, fueled in part by Snyder’s aggressive “all caps NEVER” position on when the name will change.  A high-stakes P.R. game has followed, with the Redskins spending plenty of money and effort to shape their message, and the opponents of the name spending plenty of money and effort to fight the name.

The issue will continue to percolate until the name changes, or until the opponents grow weary of the effort.  It doesn’t appear that either will happen any time soon.

75 responses to “Snyder says team name isn’t an issue, Halbritter disagrees

  1. That’s funny.clown franchise,clown qb clown owner,offensive name.notice how the vikings don’t have these problems.we are a great romodel for other teams.SKOL

  2. It’s clearly an issue — the fact that he’s compelled to say it’s not an issue shows IT’S AN ISSUE!

  3. It,s not an issue. No doubt all native Americans were screwed worse than most. But the term redskin is a term describing them coming from painting their faces red before going to war with the white man. It,s not a racial slur I think is a term of endearment to me. Stop playing the race card and embrace your heritage instead of whining!

  4. What I’d like to know is how do the Cleveland Indians get a pass with their goofy, demeaning logo? I think the Redskins are far more respectful both in team name and logo, yet no one ever says anything about the Indians. What gives?

  5. I still think a simple solution is just to change the team name to the Washington Warriors, and keep the arrowhead logo only. No need for uniform changes and the team will still feel like the same Redskins, minus the potentially inflammatory name and logo.

  6. So what is Halbritter gonna do. He keeps the thing alive by bringing it up every so often so it won’t die. But Snyder doesn’t have to do anything. We live In a free country and we have the freedom to make choices. Snyder chooses to keep the name to his team. The. Indians don’t have the right to force him to change it. They might think they do but like I said this a free country and the last time I checked the Indians aren’t in charge. people are offended every day, but people get over it. I am offended because they are making a big deal out of nothing. I get. offended because Obama plays the race card all the time. I can’t
    Make him stop doing it. hllibritter is just stubborn. where are all the other tribes if this is a big deal and why aren’t they backing this guy,There is power in numbers. where are the others. My guess is that it’s not.a big deal to the others.

  7. Not an issue the name is a term of endearment from a proud race that has been screwed worse than most! They painted their faces red before war with the white man they were true warriors but simply out numbered and slaughter and forced onto reservations. I feel for all of th but stop whining and embrace your proud heritage! I would!!!

  8. No one wants to be forced to do anything. Peerjp u gotta point with the Indians thing but as an lifelong Indians fan I,d I,d hate to see it changed. Enough political correctness already!

  9. Will they just change the darn name already so we can finally put the unfathomable poverty and tangible issues with Native Tribes completely out of our minds for good? I mean really, on an average day, does anybody even know they are even there??

    Ahem…perhaps a little heavily on the sarcasm, but I think both sides are completely nuts. WHEN they change the name, whats next? My guess is a whole lotta nothin….Sucks being a realist sometimes.

  10. people are always complaining about chief wahoo. redskins is extremely offensive. the worse is Seminole. am I to believe that all Seminole people are rapist and thieves.

  11. Hey Vikings fan what team is o-4 in SBs went 15-1 in 1998 but lost in the NFC Championship game against the Atlanta Falcons? Also The Vikings are the only team to be blown out in all 4 SBs they played in.

  12. I was willing to listen to the argument against the name until many on the opposition decided “warriors” is also offensive because it’s Native American. I viewed warriors as the only real potential compromise. With that now a hot button, I fully oppose the name change. And yes I’m aware my opinion is slanted being that I’m a born and raised DC area skins fan. BUT, also realize the fans are proud of the name and do not view it as deforestation of anyone. It’s a badge of honor in our eyes.

  13. “The question becomes whether enough folks who don’t have an opinion — and enough of those who have an opinion but not a strong one — will ever swing one way or the other.” Florio

    What 85-90% is not enough? That is the percentage that supports or has no problem with the name.

  14. Halbritter was booted out of his position by his own tribe, before the Feds suddenly reistated him.

    Read the story of Ray Halbritter and Maisse Shannandoah, and her family. Read what the noble Halbritter did to that family, and what he’s doing to Melvin Philips.

  15. The Cleveland Indians do not get a pass. There were anti-Chief Wahoo protesters outside Jacobs (Progressive) Field for opening day.

    The name “Indians” is itself not offensive. The caricature of Chief Wahoo is and is being phased out without publicly stating it is being phased out.

  16. Ok fine we will change our name to the Washington Giant Eagle Cowboys, and now our logo has a big bird and a saddle. A name’s a name but at least this one pisses off our rivals instead of somebody else.

    Although my serious vote is still for the Washington Justice League since that would be commercially cool and about fighting for justice instead of against it!

    All they have to do is merge with DC Comics which is owned by DC Entertainment which is owned by Warner Brothers which is owned by Time Warner which is soon to be owned by Comcast. Dan Snyder should go visit the Shark Tank and see if Mark Cuban will make an offer to help him get that deal. He probably already has a contact he can call. This is going to be one heck of a good Licensing deal!

  17. He’s right on some level. Instead of worrying about superficial issues like a teams name more attention should be payed to real life issues facing native Americans in the United States but people don’t care about real issues especially writers who like to be perpetually outraged about something

  18. I find the restaurant Cracker Barrel offensive because the word “cracker” can be a derogatory towards white people.

    See how silly and stupid that sounds? In the world we live in these days, it doesn’t matter what the topic of discussion is, you will always find someone that is for and against it. The Washington Redskins is a name of a professional football team and has had the name for over 70 years. No offense is intended by it, it’s meant as a show of respect. If people can’t understand that, then please, get a clue.

  19. how has it hurt Native Americans…it didn’t hurt them all these years until some arse decided he didn’t like it.. so in the words of Snyder….. NEVER….

    a Cowboys fan

  20. My only question with this issue is why all of the sudden it became a big deal now. This just reeks of a fad issue. Don’t get me wrong….if native-Americans are truly offended by this then all the power to them but why now? The only thing I can think of is the social media firestorm syndrome. I’m always leery of sudden offensiveness. I agree that the term ‘Redskins’ can be deemed as offensive. But it’s no more offensive today than it was 5, 10, 20 years ago but now all the sudden it’s a ‘movement’. Sorry but if Daniel Snyder wants to spend hundreds of millions of his own money running a team called the ‘Redskins’ and hundreds of thousands of people show up to watch those ‘Redskins’ play every year than I don’t see why he should have to do anything. If the general public is that offended then stop buying tickets. Nothing creates change in a free enterprise society more than a good old fashioned boycott. But seeing as how there’s no way that will happen I think it’s time to move on to something else. This is no different than a bunch of people that don’t vote screaming about how much they hate the people in office. If you hate it so much stop giving the guy money. Until then, let it go. You look foolish.

  21. I’ll settle this. They are both wrong. I guarantee you that Snyder’s charity has already done more good for the native American community than years of anti redskins protests. The protests are over words and words don’t feed people, cloth people, or shelter people. Snyder’s charity does. Snyder however needs to help himself. He should ask the tribes working with his charity to vote on changing the name. If they want him to he should. If they don’t, he needs to make the results public and tell his detractors that if they want to be a part of future votes they need to open a dialogue with his foundation.

    Political correctness is such a rich person problem. Anyone who’s ever been to a second or third world country knows this. People who NEED help as apposed to WANT help don’t care what words you use. As long as you help.

  22. I’m mexican American so I sympathize to a degree but it’s not how they’re saying it so don’t make a mountain out a mole hill

  23. Peerjp – No one ever says anything about the Indians because this is a football site. If you hop over to Hardball talk, you’ll find more than a few posts criticizing Chief Wahoo.

  24. When I say it wasn’t an ‘issue’ for 20 years I mean the sudden movement. I understand there has been a fringe movement but the last year it’s increased exponentially.

  25. It’s time for EVERYONE to acknowledge that there is NO right in this country not to be offended. There is something out there that offends nearly everyone, and I’m sick of seeing society pander to those that whine loud enough about their personal pet peeve. If the Redskins name offends you, don’t buy their tickets, merchandise, etc. Don’t support the team, go cheer for the Puxatawny Politically Corrects or the Louisville Libtards. Just stop whining already.

  26. I’d like to see Mr. Snyder wander down to the local rez and start addressing everyone he sees as Redskin, Brave, or Chief. See how well that goes over then tell come back and tell us it’s not offensive to anyone.

  27. You want to focus on Reality Mr. Halbritter? Ok, why don’t we focus on the fact you are raking in millions by promoting 2 of the most life shattering problems in the world: Gambling Addiction and Alcoholism. Those 2 things are what makes Ray most of his money… oh yeah and cigarettes! That’s just wonderful, making money off of and promoting lung cancer, alcoholism and degenerate gambling. I should know, I battled all 3 for many years and finally quit them all thank god. Why a total hypocrite. Oh yeah, he only pays his avg employee a whopping $16,000 a year. Super!

  28. I also like the name “Washington Warriors.” However I suspect the leftist PC crowd will complain about that as well. Marquette University used to be known as the Warriors before their fairly recent switch to the Golden Eagles.

  29. Who cares what halbritter or anyone else thinks? Snyder doesn’t.. And he shouldn’t. I guarantee you the opposition will grow weary long before the franchise does. Keep on trying to fight a losing battle. The name ain’t changing nor should it. That’s like you having a not so cool name in grade school yourself and people make fun of you and tell you to change it. I guarantee you won’t. You’ll grow older, those who will poke fun will grow up and come to realize how stupid and immature they were for trying to get you to change it. Go away people!! Grow weary… Fast. Or you’ll just end up giving up really tired down the road.


  30. As long as ESPN’s King of Racial Political Correctness, Stephen A. Smith, is allowed to call Washington, D.C., “Chocolate City,” I see no reason the city’s NFL team should have to change its nickname.

  31. peerjp – As a Cleveland fan I fully support a change to the name and embarrassing logo used by our baseball team.

    Dan Snyder’s position became so mind blowing and hypocritical when in outrage he sued local papers for running what he said was an antisemitic caricature. You can’t have it both ways Dan, you proved your position is that someone on the receiving end has the right to be offended, now show the people who are hurt by the slur you profit from the same sensitivity you demanded.

  32. Wouldn’t this be a chance for this wingnut Dan Snyder to make money off of changing their image? Their name/logo is shamefuly offensive. How does he lose money?

  33. In 1950 Disney movie “Peter Pan,” Captain Hook refers to the Indians as “Redskins.” So in 1950 it was not a derogatory word. When did it suddenly become one?

  34. Nice piece of false equivalence there. One guy owns the team, the other guy has no connection to it. Halbritter is entitled to his opinion but his ethnicity doesn’t make it anymore important than anyone else’s.

  35. @1sttimepftcomment

    This clown thinks they were called ‘Red’ skins because they painted their faces??? LOL dude…Maybe Danny boy was talking to you focusing on reality. Talk about delusions of grandeur!

  36. Call them the Washington Cheyenne, pay a portion of the marketing revenue to Cheyenne nation.

  37. charger383
    Apr 22, 2014, 10:57 PM CDT
    I used to not like Snyder and have favorable opinion of Indians, the has now reversed

    So… In other words, you are now racist (you “do not like… Indians”- your words) because of the continued use of this name and the issues surrounding that name. You make a pretty strong point in favor of changing the name. Maybe proofread your comments in the future.

  38. “I used to not like Snyder and have favorable opinion of Indians, the has now reversed.”

    Why do you have a problem with Indians?? American Indians that support the Redskin name vastly outnumber those that oppose the name .

  39. PriorKnowledge
    Apr 22, 2014, 11:13 PM CDT
    In 1950 Disney movie “Peter Pan,” Captain Hook refers to the Indians as “Redskins.” So in 1950 it was not a derogatory word. When did it suddenly become one?

    You know what else was considered acceptable in 1950? Separate schools, lunch counters, drinking fountains, etc for Blacks and Whites.
    Or do you want to talk about the horrors visited on American Indians in the form of boarding schools (which were started in the 1800s and reached peak enrollment in the 1970s)?
    But great point. Really. Because clearly we haven’t made any progress as a society since 1950.

  40. This is such a boring topic. If you don’t like the channel, change it. If you don’t like the president then vote for a different candidate. If you don’t like the team name…well..duh…ignore them.

  41. Why don’t they just change their name back to the Braves. That way it’s still apart of the team history and they don’t have to change anything else.

  42. @wheresmyjuice: “Redskin is first recorded in the late 17th century and was applied to the Algonquian peoples generally, but specifically to the Delaware (who lived in what is now southern New York State and New York City, New Jersey, and eastern Pennsylvania). Redskin referred not to the natural skin color of the Delaware, but to their use of vermilion face paint and body paint.” – Oxford Dictionary …so yeah. Face paint.

  43. Admittedly I’ve been abusive to those that would attempt to defend what I find indefensible and for that I apologize. That being said, I will take the place for those who cannot defend themselves, on my personal honor. I can say with absolute integrity, the slur degrades out species, our culture and an entire heritage. How would you like to be remembered?

  44. its funny how few people even knew this was a racial slur before they started fighting to change it. the best way to get rid of a racial slur is to forget about it. When people think about redskins they think about the football team. the more we talk about it the more people are going to think of native americans when hearing the word. they’re just building up awareness of q racial slur. that’s not usually a good idea.

  45. If Snyder gives in then the Saints need to brace themselves for the next round…no religion in football.

    I’m interested to find out when this “dictionary defined racial slur” actually made its way into the dictionary. I’d venture to guess it was after the team was named.

  46. Snyder is a joke that got lucky at the right time, the deadskins are also a joke of team that willingly wanted D Jac….two words, one onomatopoeia…tick toc

  47. My first thought was take away draft choices until they change the name. then as a fan of another team in the NFC East i thought that’s not good because they are pretty poor with personnel decisions.(RG3, Desean Jackson and so on.). The name is RACIST no matter what the Skins fans think of the people in opposition.

  48. Snyder is 100% correct about the plight of today’s native Americans. What the federal government has done to them is awful. Its the politicians who should apologize for what they’ve done not the football guy who should apologize for what he’s said.

  49. Lets quit the fighting and just hit them in their pocket book. When the racial bigot starts losing money, and the balance in his checkbook starts to drop, he will get religion real fast. Then he will not only be a racial bigot, but a hypocrite as well.

  50. I have refrained from making comments on this but as this continues on and on and on….

    Doesn’t anyone think it is funny that we are considering the name a racial slur, based on a dictionary definition which by the has changed or added definitions to words that evolve over time.

    So to me it would be just as easy to argue changing or adding the definition to the Redskins name as it would be to change the team name…. Change the derogatory perseption
    (Let’s see if this gains traction)

    I will also say that if a majority of the American Indian population find this racially charged than it should be changed, but if a minority wants it done than I am not with that at all….

    If the minority are that passionate that they want it to change and this is such a huge issue with American Indians it should be easy for them to get a majority on their side. In other words it should not take 10-20 years. If not than this is just another attempt to extort money by Haliberton in order to make the minority go away. (IMO)

  51. Funny how we have casinos on PROTECTED LAND and how charity $$ is never enough. It’s also funny how my mother was a LEGAL immigrate who worked in a bindery and part time, clean houses and somehow… we didn’t need a government handout or a football team to bail out our community..

    That is 1000% true life…

    Just saying…

  52. I am part Cherokee, a Skins fan as well as my entire family. I’ve spoken with many Native Americans online via Twitter, Instagram, Facebook etc. and it seems their main issue with the Redskins and any team with Native names or imagery IS: when Fans Wear Chicken Feathers or War Paint and NOT the Team Name or the Logo. It’s the disrespect of the Culture when they wear those fake Native items that offends them the most. I say just Ban all Native wear in stadiums/parking lots like how Dan Snyder banned banners in the stadium. Just ban the disrespectful element that offends… NOT the name or the logo. HTTR!

  53. How about some big news outlet or a big poll consisting of ONLY at least 25% native american blooded citizens take a vote on this matter?

    It seems to matter more to those that we are speaking of (Native Americans). We’ve seen all the national polls through the years which consisted of any American citizen. But, I say they do a major poll consisting only of Native Americans to see where they stand as minority group. That poll will put this ISSUE TO REST.

    I am a die hard Redskins fan. I can see why some people think its a racial slur and why it isn’t. Before I was completely one sided and supported no name change. But now that I’ve thought about it, I’m more neutral to the whole issue. I think if The Native American population vote and polls show that they support the name, then the name stays and it should never be brought up ever again. If they do support the name change, then Dan Snyder should change the name (although it is STILL ultimately HIS DECISION).

    Now this topic also begs another question: Is the word “redskin” on the same level as the “N” word? I’m giving my honest opinion here and I dont see this word being close to the same level as the “N” word. Growing up in Virginia maybe has made me a little clueless to the term. BUT, I also do live in the south and there is plenty of racism here but ever have I ever heard the term REDSKINS used as a racial slur to any Native American. BTW, I am a minority and am an Asian-American.

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