NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell needs friends, if not a hug. Who responds? Washington Redskins Owner Danny Snyder, a person who is just as unliked as he is right now.
This week, Snyder released the following statement in regards to Goodell:
“Roger Goodell has always had the best interests of football at heart, both on and off the field. We are fortunate to have him as our Commissioner. The entire Washington Redskins organization strongly endorses his efforts to eradicate domestic abuse and the independent investigation into the Ray Rice assault.”
It’s amazing how politics makes strange bedfellows.
Is it really that strange? Think again.
While many have speculated the timing of the release it’s quite obvious. Snyder waited to let some of the smoke clear so that he would have the entire focus on him. And while the Ray Rice investigation is still the watercooler conversation of the moment, Snyder knows that just as soon as the firings end, the investigations close, and the public court of political correctness is satisfied, the cameras will turn back to him – a man who has been fighting against changing the team’s name more this year than ever before.
So instead of waiting for that to happen, Snyder takes to the offense, doing something that many NFL team owners have been hesitant to do (besides Chicago Bears chairman George McCaskey): He’s taking a position for “the establishment”.
Snyder is no fool. At a moment’s notice Goodell could easily turn the tide of the Washington Redskins’ name change battle and it would be over.
Snyder’s support would come as no surprise, based on Goodell’s support for the Redskins:
Consider the following:
· In June 2013, In a letter dated June 5 and sent to the co-chairs of the Congressional Native American Caucus, Goodell gave the NFL’s position on the issue: “The Washington Redskins name has thus from its origin represented a positive meaning distinct from any disparagement that could be viewed in some other context,” writes Goodell. “For the team’s millions of fans and customers, who represent one of America’s most ethnically and geographically diverse fan bases, the name is a unifying force that stands for strength, courage, pride and respect.”
Then Goodell centers himself.
· In Sept. 2013 he told NFL.com: “I think they should listen to the people. Fans feel very strongly about the name. The last polling I have of Native Americans, nine out of 10 were not offended by the name. You have to look at listening to people who are offended by it and see if you can address those issues.”
· At a Super Bowl news conference this year he said, the Washington Redskins nickname has been “presented in a way that honors Native Americans.”
These two have more than enough reasons to support one another. At the end of the day, they only have each other. Snyder has weathered the storm thus far. Now he’s just sharing his umbrella with Goodell.
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