Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder said Thursday that as long as he owns the team, the Redskins name would "never" change because of the tradition associated with the name.
"We will never change the name of the team," Snyder said in an interview with USA Today's Erik Brady this week. "As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it's all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season."
Snyder's proclamation comes at a time when the organization has faced a barrage of renewed criticism over the name, which some consider offensive to Native Americans. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said in January that he hoped the team would consider changing the name.
And in February, the Redskins were targeted during a daylong symposium at the Smithsonian about racial stereotypes, to which they were invited but chose not to attend. Washington Mayor Vincent Gray also pointedly referred to the franchise as “our Washington football team” in his recent State of the District speech, avoiding the Redskins nickname.
Still, Snyder was defiant when asked about it this week.
"We'll never change the name," he told USA Today. "It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."A recent Associated Press poll found that nearly four in five Americans don't think that the Redskins should have to change their name.