The Washington Post is urging Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to change the name of his football team.
The Post brings up the point that the controversy will never go away and only get worse if Snyder doesn’t change the name of his franchise.
If that’s the case, Mr. Snyder should be prepared for the controversy never to end. The clamor for change only grows with time. In addition to the letter from the aforementioned members of the Congressional Native American Caucus urging a change, some noted sportswriters — Sports Illustrated’s Peter King and USA Today’s Christine Brennan — have announced they will no longer use the name. Members of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin plan a protest at Sunday’s game with the Green Bay Packers.
We understand that changing the name is not a trifling matter. There is a cost (estimated by some to be as high as $20 million), but surely the owner of the NFL’s third-most valuable franchise can afford it. There is a recognition of the importance of tradition to many fans who mean absolutely no offense.
Perhaps there is even a fear that fans will desert or turn against the team if it changes its name. We think that underestimates Washington fans and their deep feelings for this team. We urge Mr. Snyder to have more faith than that in his fan base and to listen more carefully to those who love the team and hate the ethnic slur.
Snyder doesn’t need to worry about losing fans if changes his team’s name. The Redskins have one of the strongest fan-bases in the NFL.