Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 26, 2014

Owner: NFL team to assist Native Americans

WASHINGTON — Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder says it's time to put some money behind his claim that his team's nickname honors Native Americans.

Snyder said Monday he's creating a foundation to assist American Indian tribes, even as some in that community continue to assert that the name "Redskins" is offensive.

"It's not enough to celebrate the values and heritage of Native Americans," Snyder said in a letter to the team's fans. "We must do more."

The letter states the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation will "provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities" for Native Americans. The announcement did not state whether Snyder will personally donate any money to the foundation and gave no other financial details.

A major opponent of the nickname said Snyder's move was "somewhere between a PR assault and bribery." Suzan Shown Harjo, a lead figure in a long-running case that seeks to strip the Redskins of their federal trademark protection, told The Associated Press that Snyder is showing the "same arrogance" that he's shown previously when defending the nickname.

"I'm glad that he's had a realization that Native Americans have it tough in the United States," Harjo said. "All sorts of people could have told him that, and have been trying to tell him that for a long time."

Snyder again gave no indication he plans to change the team's name. He said he believes "even more firmly" the name "captures the best of who we are and who we can be, by staying true to our history and honoring the deep and enduring values our name represents."

Snyder has come under unprecedented pressure to change the name over the last year. President Barack Obama told the AP in October he would consider changing the name if he owned the team.

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