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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: If name’s changed, NFL should help Snyder
I was recently interview by Tim Devaney for an article concerning the renaming of the Washington Redskins (“What’s in a name? Dumping ‘Redskins‘ could have a major financial impact,” Web, Oct. 17). My first comment before stating anything else to Mr. Delaney was that if Native Americans are offended by the “Redskins” name and moniker, then the name should be changed. Getting that data is key to knowing the right direction in which to take the team.
Mr. Devaney’s resulting article presented my financial analysis of this change as though I were advising Redskins owner Dan Snyder (who has done a terrible job of managing public relations around the issue) to keep the name at all costs. In fact, I estimated the potential cost to be up to hundreds of millions of dollars lost in brand equity. But I did not present my point of view as simply a numbers game, though that is how it appears in the article.
I do believe that Mr. Snyder bought a franchise worth close to $2 billion, and that it is not his duty alone to address the name of the team. I mentioned to Mr. Devaney that the NFL and its commissioner are providing mere lip service to those offended by the name. The NFL makes billions of dollars every year, and they are pressuring Mr. Snyder to “do the right thing.” If data show that the name is offensive, then let’s get the change done. But the NFL should make Mr. Snyder safe on his investment and put their proverbial money where their mouth is. The NFL could make this change a reality, but so far they are more to blame than Mr. Snyder because they do not want it to cost their dear league a red cent. They need to step up and play ball. That is a playbook strategy that could stop this controversy in its tracks.
By the way, the recent suggestion of “Bravehearts” is a terrible option for a new name. For what it is worth, I do not think Mr. Snyder is apt to select a name from a movie that was made famous by an anti-Semite.
Associate professor, marketing
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