Dan Snyder, Owner of Washington Football Team Issues Letter, Announces Original Americans Foundation

Mr. Snyder, owner of the infamous Washington team, has decided that instead of changing the racial epithet used in the team’s name, he will start a foundation to address social ills within Native American communities. Taken from his letter Letter-from-Dan-Snyder-032414:

The mission of the Original Americans Foundation is to provide meaningful and measurable resources that provide genuine opportunities for Tribal communities. With open arms and determined minds, we will work as partners to begin to tackle the troubling realities facing so many tribes across our country. Our efforts will address the urgent challenges plaguing Indian country based on what Tribal leaders tell us they need most. We may have created this new organization, but the direction of the Foundation is truly theirs.

He claims that this decision was based on information he gathered while touring reservations.

Several months ago I wrote you about my personal reflections on our team name and on our shared Washington Redskins heritage. I wrote then – and believe even more firmly now – that our team 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. In that letter, I committed myself to listening and learning from all voices with a perspective about our Washington Redskins name. I’ve been encouraged by the thousands of fans across the country who support keeping the Redskins tradition alive. Most – by overwhelming majorities – find our name to be rooted in pride for our shared heritage and values. . . .

What would my resolve to honoring our legacy mean if I myself—as the owner of and a passionate believer in the Washington Redskins—didn’t stay true to my word? I wanted and needed to hear firsthand what Native Americans truly thought of our name, our logo, and whether we were, in fact, upholding the principle of respect in regard to the Native American community. So over the past four months, my staff and I travelled to 26 Tribal reservations across twenty states to listen and learn first-hand about the views, attitudes, and experiences of the Tribes. We were invited into their homes, their Tribal Councils and their communities to learn more about the extraordinary daily challenges in their lives.
Considering the vast number of articles, Facebook posts, and tweets by Native people vehemently opposed to keeping the name, it is interesting that only those in favor of allowing it to remain seem to have been heard. Previous coverage here.
Here is one article reacting to this announcement.