Daniel Snyder should listen to ADs

Daniel Snyder should listen to ADs

Outside The Box

Daniel Snyder should listen to ADs


When the Washington Redskins had their trademark protection cancelled it started an inexorable clock (albeit, probably a long one) on the procession toward a formal name change. That is something that Redskins owner Dan Snyder has fought long and hard against, increasingly in acrominious public forums. If, as now expected, he eventually does have to change his team’s name, the personal battle royale to preserve a name universally recognized as offensive by Native Americans will only set back his organization.

It all could have been so much easier. If only Snyder had picked up the phone and called some high school ADs and coaches who were going through the same name-change process.

With the Redskins name-change top of the news, the Miami Herald reached out to Cardinal Gibbons athletic director and football coach Mike Morrill, who oversaw the school’s shift from competing as the Redskins to the Chiefs. While the Chiefs moniker wouldn’t work for Snyder’s Redskins, there are plenty of other similar options with Native American overtones, including “Braves” and “Warriors,” neither of which have overtly negative or racist overtones like “Redskins.”

Morill led the Redskins-Chiefs transition in 2006, a time when he said the school was confident that the time was right for a change. He didn’t have any misconception that the shift would be easy, but he was optimistic it could be completed without incident.

“We had discussed it for years and just thought the time was right,” Morrill told the Herald. “It came down to, if we were offending anybody, or even worse a group of people, then why wouldn’t we change it? The Chiefs moniker kind of struck with the mold of honoring Native Americans but not offending anybody. The kids are proud Chiefs now and love yelling it.”

Morill also called out Snyder’s recent campaign efforts to defend the name in no uncertain terms, denouncing the owner’s apparent pre-fab Native American support groups that have provided questionable cover for the mascot.
“I know Dan Snyder has met with several Native American groups,” Morrill said. “But it appears he is going into these meetings with a line already drawn in the sand. I hope he could get a group of people he could trust and come up with some alternative nicknames. [They can] maintain some of their past but not be offensive in any way. A new nickname is not going to erase [the team’s] great history and past Super Bowls.”

Those are strong words from a football leader. Perhaps Snyder should take note.

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