ESPN’s Rick Reilly chimed in with a column on the Washington Redskins controversial nickname by using quotes from his American Indian father-in-law to help advance his pro-Redskins agenda. Unfortunately, his father-in-law, Bob Burns, is now speaking out and saying that he was misquoted by Reilly.
Burns wrote a response to Reilly’s column for Indian Country Today Media Network, and it doesn’t look good for Rick.
So you can imagine my dismay when I saw my name and words used to defend the racist Washington Redskins name. My son-in-law, ESPN’s Rick Reilly, completely misunderstood the conversation we had, quoting me as saying “the whole issue is so silly. The name just doesn’t bother me much. It’s an issue that shouldn’t be an issue, not with all the problems we’ve got in this country.”
But that’s not what I said.
What I actually said is that “it’s silly in this day and age that this should even be a battle — if the name offends someone, change it.” He failed to include my comments that the term “redskins” demeans Indians, and historically is insulting and offensive, and that I firmly believe the Washington Redskins should change their name.
When Rick’s article came out, it upset me to be portrayed as an “Uncle Tom” in support of this racial slur. I asked him to correct the record. He has not, so I must do it myself.
If Reilly really misquoted Burns in order to support his own opinion intentionally. Well, ESPN really needs to take some action.
At the very least, I would hate to be at the Reilly Thanksgiving dinner. Can you say, “awkward?”