Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder will reportedly meet with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell this week over the team's controversial name. Snyder, who has more or less promised to defend the Redskins' name forever and ever, has faced increasing scrutiny in recent months for his commitment to the derogatory moniker.
Here's more from the Washington Post:
The person, speaking on the condition of anonymity because neither the league nor the team had publicly confirmed the meeting, said there is no indication that Snyder has modified his stance about changing the name. The meeting between Snyder and Goodell “is to get more of an understanding from the club as to how it plans to address the issue,” according to the person with knowledge of the situation.
Given that league officials are scheduled to meet with the Oneida Indian Nation on Wednesday about offensive team names, some, including the Post, are cautiously speculating that the Snyder meeting could happen Tuesday. The Oneida Indian Nation is behind a "Change the Mascot" campaign launched in recent months, as even President Obama weighed in on the Washington D.C.'s football team name. Obama, you'll remember, said that the name was "offending a sizable group of people," and if it were up to him, he'd "think about changing it."
But what does Goodell think? That's a bit harder to pin down. In a recent interview, the commissioner, who grew up as a D.C.-area fan of the Redskins, has indicated that he has a strong appreciation of the "tradition" argument employed by some to try and keep the name. But he also has a league to run, and has indicated that he's open to hearing arguments for changing the name:
"We also have to be sensitive enough to at least listen and see what it is we can do if we're insulting any element of our fan base and or not our fan base for that matter. We need to see what we can do. We need to listen, we need to engage and try to understand what it is."
That quote is from October. In February, Goodell's public remarks on the name were overtly in support of Snyder: "I think Dan Snyder and the organization have made it very clear that they are proud of that name and that heritage," he said, "and I think the fans are, too." But that change of emphasis doesn't necessarily mean a change of opinion. We know that Snyder's opinion remains the same.
Meanwhile, a handful of general interest and sports publications, including Slate and Sports Illustrated writer Peter King, have decided to drop the name from their pages even if Snyder et al. won't make the change. Conservative commenters have gone in the opposite direction, more or less, making the Redskins' issue into an example of liberal political correctness. That's even after conservative columnist Charles Krauthammer tried to make an argument from the right for supporting a Redskins name change.