Whatever your feelings on the most endless D.C. sports debate of the past few months, you’re likely pretty tired of hearing about it. Me, I sort of thought Dan Snyder’s statement last week might put a period on the debate, or at least an ellipsis.
But I was wrong, as was quickly demonstrated in several media, including radio. I recently heard not one but two CBS Sports Radio hosts deliver “sports minute” commentaries on the nickname issue, including one of particular local interest.
“Someone needs to buy Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder a ticket to see the movie ’42,’ ” John Feinstein said last week. “Why? Because one of the messages in the movie is that those who insist that bigotry is allowable because it’s ‘tradition’ always end up tripping over their ignorance sooner or later. There’s nothing more disgusting than someone who insists he knows what is right for people he knows nothing about.
“On Thursday, Snyder told USA Today that he would ‘never’ – ‘and put that in caps,’ he added — change the name Redskins, regardless of whether Native Americans find it offensive,” Feinstein went on. “Why? Because it’s tradition. Because that’s been their name all his life. Slavery was a tradition once upon a time. So was women not being allowed to vote, not to mention segregation. They were shameful, but they were traditions. Snyder should be ashamed, but of course, people like him know no shame.”
Jim Rome also weighed in.
“The Washington Redtails ain’t walking through that door, because — owner Dan Snyder says — the Redskins name will never be changed, over his dead body,” Rome said in a similar commentary. “Snyder’s heard the charge, that the nickname Redskins is racially insensitive to Native Americans. He’s heard it, he just doesn’t care that it is. He said, ‘We will never change the name of the team. I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means.’
“Well, I know the Redskins fans do, but what about the Native Americans that you’re slurring?” Rome continued. “Why don’t you go ask them? Why don’t you go ask them what it’s all about and what it means and see how they feel about it? Unless you’re a Native American, stop telling me that that nickname isn’t offensive. Not to you it’s not. Trust me, if you’re Native American, it IS offensive. But they’re not changing that name, even though they should.”