When they first emerged in Leesburg Today last week, comments from Jordan Wright about the name of the Washington NFL franchise got some attention, given that she’s the granddaughter of George Preston Marshall. But her opinion didn’t move the needle very much. After all, only so many stories can be written about specific people who think the team owned by Daniel Snyder should change its name; as time goes by and as more and more offer their views, the bar gets higher and higher.
We opted not to write a story about Jordan Wright’s opinion, relegating the subject to one-liner status. But the matter has now migrated to the pages of the Washington Post, fueled by the team’s decision to respond to the comments from the daughter of the child of the man who applied the name to the team more than 80 years ago.
“We are aware that Jordan Wright has recently changed her long-held position on the Redskins name,” team P.R. spokesman Tony Wyllie told the Post. “However, we do know from her bio that she has been paid by the newspaper Indian Country Today, which is owned and operated by the Oneida tribe, the most vocal critics of the Redskins name. So her change of heart is consistent with her employment choices.”
There’s a certain irony that undoubtedly applies to Wyllie’s belief that beliefs can be so easily bought. How many employees of the team, including perhaps Wyllie himself, are saying what needs to be said in order to ensure that checks signed by Daniel M. Syder, Millionaire will continue to be deposited into their accounts? If the team thinks “employment choices” directly influence opinions, it’s fair to wonder how many people who have chosen to work for Snyder are muzzling any disagreement with the name in order to continue to be employed.
The team surely wouldn’t expect Wright to admit that her “employment choices” are influencing her opinion. In turn, I don’t expect Wyllie or anyone else who works for Snyder to do the same thing.