WASHINGTON — A frothing and possibly psychotic Dan Snyder reversed course this week and, most likely out of spite, rechristened his National Football League team the Washington No-Good, Dirty Injuns. The move came after Snyder for years rebuffed requests to change the name of the three-time Super Bowl champions to something less flagrantly racist than the Redskins.
Reports issued Tuesday said that a group of 10 lawmakers had become the latest to petition Washington owner Snyder to call his team something that isn’t – or at least might not be – an inarguably offensive term used to refer to America’s oldest ethnic group. The members of Congress sent a letter to Snyder, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, FedEx CEO Frederick Smith and the 31 other football franchise owners asking that they “disavow the usage of racial slurs,” an apparently radical step for them.
“Native Americans throughout the country consider the ‘R-word’ a racial, derogatory slur akin to the ‘N-word’ among African Americans or the ‘W-word’ among Latinos,” the letter reads. “Such offensive epithets would no doubt draw wide-spread disapproval among the NFL’s fan base. Yet the national coverage of Washington’s NFL football team profits from a term that is equally disparaging to Native Americans.”
As though it was his honor being assaulted, Snyder had previously vowed not to change from the Redskins, telling USA Today: “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use all caps.” And General Manager Bruce Allen went on the record last week saying: “I think it’s a non-issue and it’s been a non-issue for decades. We really don’t get the talk that other people get because we hear from our fans. And our fans will always be our fans of the Washington Redskins.”
Not anymore, they won’t. It appears an official request from the co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus was just too much for Snyder, who this morning “snapped” and unilaterally changed the name of the team that plays at FedEx Field to the Washington No-Good, Dirty Injuns. As of press time, marketing and branding employees were at a loss as to how to get the new name on millions of dollars’ worth of merchandise.
“I tried to play nice,” snarled Snyder, who in 2009 attempted to shame head coach Jim Zorn into quitting so he wouldn’t be paid severance and who once cut down trees protected by the National Park Service because they obstructed his view. “But nooooo, you people just had to have a clean, boring name. I shoulda called them the Washington…. you know, but then we probably would have lost RGIII.”
The most recent AP poll, released before the congressional letter, had four out of five Americans reporting that they didn’t think the team should change its name from the Redskins. In 13 years under Snyder, Washington has had four winning seasons and gone through seven head coaches.