Bob Niedt, Washington Business Journal, March 25, 2014
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has faced intense criticism that the name of his National Football League team is insensitive to Native Americans. He is now responding. In a letter published on the Washington Redskins’ website, Snyder pledged Monday he would create a foundation aimed at helping Native Americans.
In a letter addressed to the Redskins Nation Monday, Snyder said he has traveled to 26 tribal reservations during the past four months “[listening and learning] first-hand about the views, attitudes and experiences of the Tribes . . . the more I heard, the more I’ve learned, and the more I saw, the more resolved I became about helping to address the challenges that plague the Native American community.”
On its website, the Oneida Nation was quick to respond. Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter stated, “We’re glad that after a decade of owning the Washington team, Mr. Snyder is finally interested in Native American heritage, and we are hopeful that when his team finally stands on the right side of history and changes its name, he will honor the commitments to Native Americans that he is making.”
Halbritter also said, “We are also hopeful that in his new initiative to honor Native Americans’ struggle, Mr. Snyder makes sure people do not forget that he and his predecessor, George Preston Marshall, a famous segregationist, have made our people’s lives so much more difficult by using a racial slur as the Washington team’s name.”