The Washington Redskins have yet another embarrassing PR gaffe to add to their list. A California Native American tribe is accusing the team of offering them a bribe after they refused to accept a charitable donation to build a skate park. Details of the meeting between Redskins officials and tribal leaders paint a picture of utter cluelessness perfectly in keeping with everything we know about Daniel Snyder’s operation.
The Fort Yuma Quechan Tribe in Winterhaven, California tells Indian Country they were approached by the Redskins who offered to pay for a skate park the tribe had long been planning to build. But while meeting with a delegation from the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation, led by Executive Director Gary Edwards, tribal leaders became skeptical of the team’s motives.
Kenrick Escalanti, whose organization Kwatsan media is trying to raise money for the park, told Indian Country:
We respectfully listened to their presentation. But when Gary Edwards referred to himself as a “redskin” in front of our Nation’s officials, I knew that their visit had ulterior motives.
The Redskins presented a rendering of the skate park they proposed to donate, and of course it was painted in the team’s colors. The Redskins also offered to buy iPads for the tribe’s children “for the purpose of learning their Native language.” And they offered all of this, they claimed, with no strings attached.
The Quechan tribe was not buying what the Redskins were selling according to Escalanti:
We say no. There are no questions about this. We will not align ourselves with an organization to simply become a statistic in their fight for name acceptance in Native communities. We’re stronger than that and we know bribe money when we see it.
The organization Eradicating Native American Mascotry (ENAM) offered an even more strongly negative characterization of the Redskins’ efforts at buying off the tribe:
[Edwards] appears to feel that only by being a mascot for a $1.8 billion team can Native Americans continue to exist in this country.
We don’t need hush money, we need the franchise to respect that the majority of Native America is against the racial slur they use as a team name.
The tribe will continue their efforts to raise funds for their skate park, without any help from Daniel Snyder and his band of tone-deaf lackeys.
Tags: Washington Redskins