We've heard the loud, over-my-dead-body protests from Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder over the possibility of changing the franchise nickname.
But for the first time we've now heard someone who has been closely aligned with Snyder who thinks there's a scenario where he might consider changing the name.
Former Redskins GM Vinny Cerrato recently spoke on the matter, and frankly we missed it a few weeks ago when he spoke with Boston's The Sports Hub on it. But we read Washington Post's Dan Steinberg talking about Cerrato's comments, and agree that they are very enlightening.
“I know Dan Snyder very well,” Cerrato said. “And he is fighting this, and he’s against this, and he doesn’t believe what people are saying.
"It goes back to his childhood. It goes back to his dad. It is deep with him, why that name means so much. And then with Bruce Allen, his dad was the coach, so it means something to him. So I think they will fight it to the end, and Dan has made those comments ... It almost now is like Dan vs. the politicians. It’s not the fan base; it’s a fight amongst the politicians and Dan Snyder.”
So that gives some context to the matter. And we've heard about Snyder's family ties to the nickname previously. But Cerrato provided an even juicier item later in the interview — a way Snyder might actually let go of the Redskins name.
“It’s not about the money,” Cerrato said later. “Dan’s got a ton of money. He’ll fight this. I said this when this first started a year ago or whatever, I said the only way I see him eventually changing the name is if — if — he gets a new stadium out of it, downtown, where old RFK was. And he builds a stadium bigger than [Jerry Jones's], which he would do, bigger and better than Jerry’s. He gets a Super Bowl. All that.
"I said that’s the way that maybe he would change the name. Getting the property, getting the land, getting a good deal from the city to make concessions to change the name. I don’t know. But to me, he’s going to continue to fight this. I haven’t spoken to him in a while, but he’s visited these reservations. They’ve done a lot of due diligence about this to justify their case of keeping the name. I know Dan. He’s not giving up."
So Snyder's not giving up, per Cerrato, but he might be willing to listen if a new stadium and a Super Bowl were the lures. Might the NFL then step in and give Snyder an assist in order to prevent any kind of major P.R. nightmare?
“You know where it hits them? If sponsors start pulling out,” Cerrato said. “If league sponsors start to pull out, then it’s hurting 31 other teams. Then other owners will start to get involved, then the league will get involved. If Dan starts losing major sponsors, then you’re really losing money.”
All fascinating stuff. Surprising that some of the more revealing comments would come from Cerrato, too, but more surprising that now — for the first time — we have an idea as to how this thing might end.
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