Redskins' Daniel Snyder & Navajo Nation's Ben Shelly Sit Side-By-Side During (Presumably) Very Awkward Game
The Washington Redskins are unapologetic about their controversial team name, which in recent years has rallied Native Americans (and just about everybody else) across the nation. So it was a real WTF moment when two unlikely fans — Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder and Navajo Nation President Ben Shelly — were spotted watching Sunday's game together.
Shelly donned a Redskins cap as he watched the Arizona Cardinals and Washington Redskins with Snyder, the very man who told USA Today last year that they could "use caps" in quoting him that he would never change the team name. Meanwhile, protestors outside of the University of Phoenix Stadium in Glendale, Arizona called for a the racist moniker to be changed.
So does this public appearance mean that the Navajo Nation has had a change of heart toward the name? Absolutely not. In April, Navajo Nation voted 9-2 to formally oppose the use of Washington's team name.
Snyder has had a few awkward cover-ups for his franchise, including creating the Original Americans Foundation, his look-guys-I-swear-I'm-not-racist charity that benefits the very people that his team name hurts.
But if that PR move was a little too obvious, this one wasn't well-researched. Shelly has been in office for just one term and has allegedly stolen from the tribal government. Shelly also worked with Snyder to host a celebrity golf tournament this April, which prompted prominent Native American associations to pull their support. Shelly was absolutely destroyed in August's primary elections for Navajo Nation, and he'll be out of office in January 2015.
And I've got to ask, what the hell do these two have to say to each other? What can you possibly have to say to a man who doesn't want to change his offensive team name because of rebranding issues? Every time Snyder has the urge to cheer, is it all: "GO REDSK-wait, it's OK that I say that because we're friends, right? We're totally friends!"
Images: Fox Sports