Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said when he visited with the tribe leaders on reservations in Arizona, New Mexico, and South Dakota, he realized what most media pundits won’t discuss: “the plight of Native Americans.”
“The things that people don’t talk about, You know, it’s sort of fun to talk about the name of our football team, because it gets some attention for some of the people that write it, that need clicks, or what have you,” Snyder said on ESPN 980.
“But the reality is,” Snyder continued, “no one ever talks about what’s happening on reservations, the fact that they have such high unemployment rates, health care issues, education issues, environmental issues, lack of water, lack of electricity.”
“And I think that those are the real issues that America should be talking about,” he said.
Snyder continued to dig deeper into how the broken lives of the Native American people he visited,moved him–lives that he and the Redskins’ Original Americans Foundation are trying to uplift.
“No one wants to talk about that stuff, because it’s not cocktail, chit-chat-talk, it’s a real-life need, real-life issues. And I think they don’t want to focus on that, and I dedicated an effort to do that. And I said after what I saw, and listened, and learned, it moved me. It moved me, it moved my wife, it moved my family.”
“And we would go back the airport afterwards, saying, ‘“Gosh, we gotta do something, we gotta help.”’
Snyder also had a message for everyone, including politicians and sports media writers criticizing him for not changing his team’s name. “I would just encourage people — the politicians that have fun with our football team’s name — I would encourage them to actually go out there and learn, and listen to really what’s happening in Indian Country, so that they could help Indian country.”
And just in case anyone still had any lingering doubts about his motives and intentions, Snyder says “this is not PR, we don’t have PR people doing this stuff, this is really genuine, and from that standpoint.”
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