“From inadequate healthcare to chronic joblessness, from substandard housing to, in some cases, shortages of the most basic human needs like clean running water and winter clothing, Native Americans today have so many challenges for which they desperately need solutions. However, for most Native Americans, the name of our football team is something they support. It’s important to listen to and respect the voices and opinions of the Native American community. Here is more of what they have been saying.”
The following statements were received as emails to Dan Snyder in an unprompted response to the letter he released last fall about the team’s name. More than 7,000 letters and emails were received in favor of the team’s name, including almost 200 from people who identified themselves as Native Americans or as family members of Native Americans. Seven letters were received from Native Americans opposed to the team name. The results are consistent with a 2004 survey taken by the University of Pennsylvania’s National Annenberg Public Policy Center showing that 90 percent of Native Americans said the Redskins name did not bother them and only nine percent found it offensive.
“I am very proud to be a Redskins fan in Oklahoma & also prod [sic] to be a Native American. HTTR! [Hail to the Redskins] Never give up what you believe in.”
- Billy Williams, Cherokee (Wilburton, Okla.)
“I support you and your decision. I have a rich Indian heritage and I am proud to be a lifelong Redskins fan. … Thank you again for standing your ground.”
- Jason Hearn, Pocomoke (Parsonsburg, Md.)
“As a native American Indian that is half Apache I am a PROUD REDSKINS FAN! PLEASE do not change the name of the Redskins. … The Redskin emblem shows a Proud, Strong Warrior of great character we are all proud to support. Hail to the Redskins and God Bless you!”
- Jeanette Harbauer, Apache (Cherry Valley, Calif.)
THE REDSKINS: Headquartered at Redskins Park in Ashburn, Virginia, and
owned by Daniel Snyder, the historic Washington Redskins Football Club
has won five World Championship titles including the 1937 and 1942 National
Football League Championship games, as well as Super Bowls XVII, XXII and
XXVI. Founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves in Massachusetts, the team changed
its name to the Redskins in 1933 and relocated to Washington, D.C., in 1937.
Since then, the team has become one of the most recognizable professional
sports franchises in history, featuring multiple Hall of Fame coaches, 19
members of the Pro Football Hall of Fame (with seven others who also were
Redskins) and becoming the first team in the NFL with an official marching band
and fight song, "Hail to the Redskins." The Redskins have been
owned by Dan Snydersince 1999, and beginning in 1997, began playing
their home games at FedExField in Landover, Md.