At-large DC City Council member David Grosso, an Independent, made a splash earlier this week when he announced plans to introduce a non-binding resolution calling on Redskins owner Dan Snyder to scrap the team’s moniker, which critics have long considered an offensive racial slur. As a replacement, Grosso suggested the Washington Redtails—a reference the Tuskegee Airmen, a celebrated team of African-American pilots who served during World War II.
Grosso formally introduced the resolution on Wednesday. It states that the DC Council “is empowered to educate, inform, and counsel team owner Dan Snyder, National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell, the National Football League Partnership and its Partners, of their unacknowledged duty to accept national standards and change the name both for the sake of decency, and to rectify this ongoing insult to America’s First Nations, to the District, and to the memory of President Washington.”
In addition, Grosso sent the following letter to Snyder regarding his actions:
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Mr. Dan Snyder
Washington Football Club
21300 Redskins Park Drive
Ashburn, Virginia 20147
Dear Mr. Snyder:
I am sure that you are aware of the resolution I introduced at the D.C. Council requesting that you change the name of the Washington Redskins. I support changing the name because the name “Redskins” is historically racist and derogatory. I hope that you can be persuaded to take a strong principled stance on this matter and change the name. While you are considering this idea I would like to sit down with you to discuss why I think it is important to change the name.
The purpose of the meeting would be to share the perspective of the majority of the D.C. Council as to why a name change would be appropriate. I am aware of the past position taken by the team, but would like to discuss other possibilities directly with you. As a native Washingtonian and lifelong fan of the Washington Football Club, I feel that we can work together to come to a positive solution.
Thank you for considering my request and I look forward to hearing from you. If you have any questions you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org or (202) 724-8105. In addition, my Chief of Staff, Aaron Pritchard can be reached at email@example.com or at (202) 724-8105.
Councilmember David Grosso
In an interview Friday, Grosso said he had not heard back from Snyder, nor does he expect to. “Their level or respect for our body is probably not that high,” he says.