The Washington Redskins have found a new way to try convincing people that the name of their team is not racist in nature. The team announced earlier this week that it will be making a number of charitable contributions to Native Americans, including over 3,000 cold weather coats, sneakers for boys and girls basketball players and a backhoe for a tribe in Omaha.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid sees the new movement as a “phony deal” that is not going to help Daniel Snyder keep the Redskins name.
“Dan Snyder, he’s got a great new deal,” Reid told Dan Steinberg of DC Sports Bog on Thursday. “He’s going to throw a few blankets to the Indians and get a tax deduction for it. I can’t imagine why the man doesn’t realize that the name is going to change. It’s only a question of when it’s going to change. That’s the only question.”
Snyder has said in the past that the team will never changes its name, despite pressure from the mayor of Washington, D.C. and many others. Reid insists Snyder is on the “losing side of history,” citing similar issues like the University of North Dakota changing its Fighting Sioux nickname after Las Vegas multimillionaire Ralph Engelstad built the school a new hockey arena to try to convince them to keep the name.
“I think the name will be changed within the next three years,” Reid said. “You know, I may slip a year or two, but I think it’s just a question of time. Because Native Americans are organized. We have Native Americans who now are not all poor. We’ve got these Indian gaming establishments who have money, who are gonna help with this. And Dan Snyder’s not the only person in the world with money.”
Reid’s probably right. The issue is not going to go away no matter how much money Snyder throws at Native American tribes and organizations or how many letters Roger Goodell writes to Congress. Eventually, the pressure will become too great to overcome.