Oh, Dan Snyder. Just as I am at times embarrassed by some Americans when I’m traveling overseas, I am embarrassed to admit that Dan Snyder is a member of my own tribe. That Dan Snyder is a Jew would be irrelevant under most circumstances, but he’s currently crying, “Foul,” over the recent loss of trademark protection for the Redskins’ name, as the Patent Office has found the name to be offensive. Right. But, you know, only in the way that any racial or ethnic slur could be considered offensive, so how bad could that be?
What I find so remarkably…thick…about Dan Snyder’s skull in this instance is that he’s claiming that he should be able to retain the trademark on the basis of…wait for it…no really, this is good…are you ready? OK…on the basis of…TRADITION! So let’s examine tradition a bit, shall we?
The Washington Redskins (and please forgive me, I want to retch every time I type the word, but there it is)…have been around – as this particular team in DC for 80 years. Eighty years? PUH-lease. There are traditions that go back WAY further than that. Given Mr. Snyder’s own lineage, why don’t we start with the tradition of, oh, I don’t know…how about – blaming Jews for killing Jesus? Oh, and blaming Jews for the black death? That’s traditional. Should we keep doing that? It’s tradition, after all.
Oh, yeah, and excluding Jews from businesses, country clubs, universities, professional organizations, and neighborhoods — that’s traditional, too. In fact, eighty years ago, I’m not all that sure that a Jew could have owned a professional football team. That’s traditional. Should we return to that tradition?
Plenty’s already been written about how offensive this name is and why Snyder should change it. It is and he should. I’m not even expecting that there will be a miracle that will somehow turn Dan Snyder into something resembling human (although there’s always hope). I’m just marveling at the complete inability to see the irony in his statement.
This time, I believe Snyder will lose his appeal. FedEx is now on board with the name change, saying that the R name is bad for their image. Continued use of the name will hurt Snyder where he cares most — in his wallet. Suck it up, Snyder. Change the name. It’s time.
That’s all I’ve got. That’s my mite.