WASHINGTON (CBSDC) – Dan Snyder nearly broke the world yesterday when he told the USA Today “we’ll never change the name,” referring to ongoing resistance against the ‘Redskins’ team name.
Partly because so many people had been dying to hear him acknowledge the name was being debated, but also because of the infinite tone his word choice projected.
“We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps,” Snyder said, leaving zero room for confusion about how he felt.
He acknowledged and silenced the debate simultaneously.
Now he has someone to echo his sentiments.
Wide receiver Josh Morgan, a D.C. native, laughed at the thought of his team changing its name to ‘Redtails,’ an alternative name suggested by D.C. Councilmember David Grosso in April.
“Nah, that’s kind of taking away from the Tuskegee Airmen,” Wilson told Lavar and Dukes on 106.7 The Fan Friday, as he stifled laughter. “That was their name.”
“I grew up right down the street from RFK Stadium,” he later said. “As a matter of fact, I’m sitting here right now. All I know is the Redskins, so I’m glad we’re not going to ever change the name.”
One of Morgan’s receiving cohorts, Pierre Garcon, took a similar tone to the Redtails suggestion on Twitter.[tweet https://twitter.com/PierreGarcon/status/329603208647421952 width=”420″] [tweet https://twitter.com/PierreGarcon/status/329604616742379521 width=”420″]
The bottom line is, Snyder’s staunch defense of the Redskins name, albeit out of left field, made waves that rippled through the entire D.C. community, especially each household within it that’s proudly displaying a burgundy and gold flag in the month of May.
In the moments since he’s made headlines, Redskins fans have expressed a rare show of support for their team’s owner, demonstrating that even the most strained relationships can be mended by a simple reminder of a common bond.
But the outpouring he’s been shown, on Twitter and Facebook specifically, has made it seem as though fans have been waiting more than just an offseason for this moment. Like this was a seminal turning point in their relationship with Daniel M. Snyder.
And perhaps it was. Perhaps the timing of this was everything, and maybe it was more calculated than he let on. But the end result was him ingratiating himself with the fans he’d been ostracized from for so long.
“I’m happy,” Morgan said. “I was kind of getting scared when everyone started talking about the Redtails and all this other stuff. I was getting a little nervous about that.”
Let’s be clear, the debate won’t stop. Opponents of the name will continue searching for political pressure points, and defenders won’t listen to anything they say.
But for now, now that the owner of the team has spoken, maybe we can all just give it a rest.
At least until next offseason.