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Redskins’ Snyder says team name is ‘not an issue’

STERLING, Va. (AP) -- Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said Tuesday it's time for people to "focus on reality" concerning Native American matters instead of criticizing the team's nickname.

"We understand the issues out there, and we're not an issue," Snyder said. "The real issues are real-life issues, real-life needs, and I think it's time that people focus on reality."

Challenged by those who consider the name "Redskins" offensive, Snyder and his staff recently traveled to Native American reservations and last month established a foundation to assist American Indian tribes. He had declined requests to answer questions about the foundation until Tuesday.

Snyder has insisted he will not change the Redskins' name, calling it a "badge of honor." He did not directly answer when asked to respond to those who say the foundation is a way of throwing money at the problem to placate critics. He instead cited the work behind the creation of the foundation.

"I think it tells you that we did our homework -- unlike a lot of people," he said.

The Oneida Indian Nation, which has been at the forefront of the push to change the team's name, said Snyder is the one who needs to come to grips with reality.

"If Dan Snyder thinks it is acceptable for a billionaire to market, promote and profit off of a dictionary defined racial slur, then he's living in an alternate universe," Oneida spokesman Ray Halbritter said in a statement. "If he wants to focus on reality, here's a reality check: the longer he insists on slurring Native Americans, the more damage he will keep doing to Native American communities, and the more he will become synonymous with infamous segregationist George Preston Marshall, who originally gave the team this offensive name."

Snyder rarely takes questions from reporters, and his brief remarks came after a ceremony at a local high school. The Redskins are donating $100,000 of the $1 million cost to refurbish the school's sports field.

Asked about the Redskins' splashiest offseason move -- signing free agent DeSean Jackson -- Snyder downplayed his role, distancing himself from his reputation of being actively involved in personnel decisions.

"When you look at the fact that the head coach and the general manager said this is the right move, the only thing I can do is support it," Snyder said. "And that's what I've done, and it's been great. I've spent a little time with him, and he's really a good guy."

The Redskins lured Jackson from the NFC East rival Philadelphia Eagles, where the three-time Pro Bowl receiver was scrutinized for questionable work habits and off-field issues. Snyder said Jackson doesn't get enough credit for doing charity work. The owner also can't wait to see his newest acquisition on the field.

"That's going to be exciting -- and not just the two games against Philly," Snyder said. "We got tired of seeing him score a lot of touchdowns against us."

Snyder was given a chance to address one other hot-button issue -- whether his relationship with franchise quarterback Robert Griffin III contributed to the tension between Griffin and coach Mike Shanahan last season.

Snyder responded: "First of all, we're moving forward. We're proud of our quarterback, proud of our head coach."

The Redskins fired Shanahan at the end of the 3-13 season and replaced him with Jay Gruden.

"There's a lot of positive energy," Snyder said. "It's great to see, and everyone's enthusiastic every day and we just need to translate that to the field."


jplegend, you don’t get to decide who is offended and this isn’t a political issue.  Why do some blame liberals any time they see something that doesn’t support their view?  Maybe just accept that this is an issue and that you really don’t care about it.  And then maybe go get educated.

We (Loudoun taxpayers) give this guy $2 million dollars…he gives back $100K toward an astroturf field at a local high school and the local media celebrate his incredible generosity. 

Now we have to endure stories like this one.  Who cares whether he thinks the Redskins name is offensive to people?

This whole issue is nothing but PC run amuck, perpetrated by a few publicity seeking individuals & the media.  Why don’t we just change the definition in the dictionary?

Snyder has insisted he will not change the Redskins’ name, calling it a “badge of honor.”

There is no badge of honor, Mr. Snyder, as you are not Native American.  A badge of honor indicates something to be worn or displayed either literally or figuratively - to highlight an accomplishment or feat or duty.  You have gotten richer, off the name of a race of people, who do not wish to recognized by your money-making business.  A real badge of honor, would be for you to change the name.

He is in fact an awful owner, but he’s right…this isn’t an issue for anyone other than far left, thin-skinned liberals. And they are offended by everything anyway. 90% of the rest of us couldn’t care less about this. Including most native Americans.

Glad to see Synder stick to his guns on this, it’s just more political correctness run a muck in this Country.

How funny…The team name is not an issue that’s why I’m out telling the press and doing more charity work…..This little guy is a hoot as an NFL owner. Probably why there is a dark cloud over this team since he’s been owner….

He wouldnt have needed to bring it up if it wasnt an issue.

He wouldnt have created his little tax deduction OAF charity if the name wasnt an issue.

This owner is the creatan that the supervisors paid off.

Worst owner ever.

The fact that he needed to go on his fact finding mission for PR purposes prove that the heat is on him and the name.

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