Who would’ve thunk that it would be easier to pick a new name for owner Dan Snyder’s beloved Washington Redskins than for parents and caretakers in the nation’s capital to know when the first day of school for the 2020-21 academic year would be?
Mayor Muriel Bowser said Thursday morning that her plan would be finalized by July 31, but of course even that hinges on analyses of COVID-19 infections, deaths.
And when your city’s epicenter is the nation’s capital, it’s questionable whether politicians earn their keep on behalf of children or the dollars that come along with pimping the plight of children in general and the less fortunate in particular.
Either way, don’t expect shocking news from City Hall (unless it’s that D.C. officials, Mr. Snyder and the federal government have agreed on a plan for Washington’s football team to return to, well, Washington, lol).
Mr. Snyder and other longtime fans suspected long ago that identity politics would shake the ripest and lowest-hanging fruit on NFL trees.
Why? The world of entertainment survives on dollar bills, y’all, and when a sports teams, regardless of their monikers, aren’t selling tickets, putting butts in the seats, pulling in greenbacks from in-house ballpark ads and broadcasts, selling beer, food and merchandise, even team owners, minorities or not, take offense.
Indeed, smartphone connections allow barely-interested fans to watch games while crunching down Doritos and swigging a Slurpee at work.
Anyway, the NFL — i.e., team owners — had a front-row seat for how the tide was turning in 2016, when, followed by the San Francisco 49ers’ Colin Kaepernick, other players and some coaches kneed “The Star Spangled Banner” in the throat. To stem the tide, the league hired music man Jay-Z to draw fans and celebrate the NFL’s 100th birthday.
Once the Don’t Tread On Us movement hit the streets following the breathtaking killing of George Floyd, a bull’s-eye marked Mr. Snyder’s bank account. Sponsors withdrew.
A native of the D.C. area, Mr. Snyder is a lifelong fan, having attended games at RFK Stadium with his dad. And that’s a good sign for fans who have stuck with the team in good and bad times — especially since league-wise, the Redskins haven’t been in winning mode since, since … oh heck, it’s painful to research the win-loss records.
That pain, though, isn’t greater than that inflicted by Miss Bowser and other mayors who call public education a civil right yet can’t bring themselves to say in-person or online schooling.
At least Mr. Snyder can make a quantum leap and flip a coin in the process. Red Tails it is.
• Deborah Simmons can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.