For Washington Redskins team owner Dan Snyder, the pressure to change the team name continues to tower, which means he’s facing desperate times. And what does one do during desperate times? Apparently hire heavy-hitting lobbyists.
According to recently filed lobbying disclosures, in May the team hired international firm McGuireWoods Consulting, Politico reported.
The firm will work on “discussions of team origins, history and traditions, Washington Redskins Charitable Foundation, youth sports, and activities of Original Americans’ Foundation,” according to the disclosure retrieved by Politico.
The recent move by Snyder comes after 50 democratic senators sent him a letter denouncing the racist team name and urged him to change it. Snyder has said that he will “NEVER” change the name.
"The N.F.L. can no longer ignore this and perpetuate the use of this name as anything but what it is: a racial slur," read the letter as published by USA TODAY Sports.
In response to the letter, NFL spokesman Brian McCarthy said that it has “long demonstrated a commitment to progressive leadership on issues of diversity and inclusion, both on and off the field. The intent of the team’s name has always been to present a strong, positive and respectful image. The name is not used by the team or the NFL in any other context, though we respect those that view it differently,” according to USA TODAY Sports.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid – one of the leading congressional voices in the fight against the team name – has been the focal point of Snyder’s retaliation. Recently, the Washington Redskins front office urged its fans to inundate Reid’s office and Twitter account with pride for their team using the hashtag #RedskinsPride. The campaign backfired, putting Snyder and his administrators back on the defense.
“What we saw in the immediate aftermath of the (team’s) tweet was a collective, overwhelming outpouring that was heavily critical of the Washington football team,” Reid’s digital director, Faiz Shakir, wrote in an email to USA TODAY Sports. “It was an utter failure for them, and I hope it causes the organization to reflect on why that occurred.”
In another seeming desperate move earlier this month, Chairman Joseph Holley of the Battle Mountain Band of Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone Indians declined an invite by the team to fly to Washington, D.C., for a news media event with Snyder.
“Someone working for the team called me out of the blue to invite me to a meeting in D.C. with the team and its owners and wanted to know what I thought of the team name,” Holley said in a statement by the NCAI released to USA TODAY Sports.