Redskins Owner Pulls the 'I Have American Indian Friends' Move

By Chris Hoenig

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder pulled the ol’ “I have _____ friends” move over the weekend, and it failed miserably.

Snyder invited outgoing Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly to his box for Sunday’s game against the Cardinals, and, predictably, the publicity stunt was shown on TV during the game.

But perhaps Snyder would have been wise to do a little further research on his guest.

By the time the Super Bowl rolls around, Shelly will no longer be the president of the Navajo Nation. He didn’t even make it to the ballot for the general election, finishing seventh out of 17 candidates in this summer’s primary—with less than a quarter of the votes of the leading candidate. His presidency will end in January after just a single, turmoil-filled term.

Shelly’s support of Snyder and Washington’s team name goes directly against the desires of the Navajo people and the Navajo Nation Council, which voted 9-2 in April to oppose the name. Two major sponsors withdrew from an annual celebrity golf tournament hosted by the Navajo Nation’s radio station after Shelly secretly signed up Snyder’s Original Americans Foundation as a sponsor, against the wishes of tribal elders.

Fraud and conspiracy charges raised eyebrows from the very beginning of Shelly’s term, and Shelly—Snyder’s guest and ally—eventually agreed to repay more than $8,000 that he was accused of stealing from the tribal government.

Snyder has remained steadfast that he will not change the team’s name, despite letters from 50 U.S. Senators calling for a name change, the revocation of the team’s trademark registration by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, the refusal of CBS analysts to say the name on-air, the refusal by a former top referee to officiate any of the team’s games, and many high schools dropping the nickname. Oh, yeah, and the fact that the name is a slur against the American Indian people.

Supporters of the team’s name cite the pride and history of the team—despite the fact that the team was founded in Boston and named the Braves—and the widespread acceptance of other American Indian nicknames, such as the Braves, Chiefs, Indians and Seminoles (Florida State University actually has permission from the Seminole Tribe of Florida to use the name), even if none of those nicknames are a slur the way Washington’s team name is.

Latest News

TIAA Launches Programs to Raise Awareness of Racial Injustice and Support Communities in Need through the “Be The Change” Initiative

On June 30, TIAA announced new virtual programs designed to raise awareness of racial injustice and support communities in need as a part of the company’s recently launched “Be the Change” initiative. One is TIAA’s “Race Against Racism,” an effort in support of The Innocence Project which included more than…

Stop TB Partnership and Johnson & Johnson, with support from USAID and The Global Fund, Announce Price Reduction for SIRTURO® (bedaquiline) for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis in Low- and Middle-Income Countries

Originally published on Joint efforts aim to accelerate scale-up of WHO-recommended all-oral treatment regimens – a transition urgently needed to help protect the health of people with drug resistant-tuberculosis who are particularly vulnerable during COVID-19 pandemic In 2020, the initiative aims to reach at least 125,000 patients and could…

Toyota, Alabama A&M and Huntsville Hospital Collaborate to Make COVID-19 Testing Easier

Originally published on $100,000 grant provides free service to the community Alabama A & M University (AAMU), Huntsville Hospital and Toyota are developing a mobile health clinic initiative to provide free COVID-19 testing to underserved communities in Madison County. Launching later this year, the mobile medical clinic program has…

Sanofi and Regeneron Provide Update on Kevzara® (sarilumab) Phase 3 U.S. Trial in COVID-19 Patients

Originally published on Sanofi and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: REGN) today announced that the U.S. Phase 3 trial of Kevzara® (sarilumab) 400 mg in COVID-19 patients requiring mechanical ventilation did not meet its primary and key secondary endpoints when Kevzara was added to best supportive care compared to best supportive care alone (placebo)….

TD Bank: How a PPP Loan Saved Essential Jobs for Hundreds of Frontline Healthcare Heroes Amid COVID-19

Originally published on Yet, “it’s not about earning a paycheck” for these medical responders A hero is defined as “a person who is admired or idealized for courage, outstanding achievements or noble qualities.” Never has that word resonated more than right now, with millions of frontline responders risking their…

Boeing Dreamlifter Transports 500,000 Protective Face Masks for Utah Students and Teachers

Originally published on Partnered with the state of Utah, Atlas Air, H.M. Cole, Cotopaxi, Flexport and UPS to deliver face masks to school districts with the greatest need Boeing [NYSE: BA] today completed its 12th COVID-19 transport mission, using a Boeing Dreamlifter to bring personal protective equipment (PPE) to the United…