Jim Ross: Dan Snyder Changed Team Name 'To Save His Ass'

July 14, 2020 - 8:27 am

Dan Snyder, facing mounting pressure from activists and – more importantly – sponsors, has dropped “Redskins” from the NFL lexicon.

While some fans of the team are angry, longtime WWE commentator Jim Ross, a descendant of the Cherokee tribe, is relieved.

“I’m very sensitive [to this],” Ross told JR SportBrief. “I do believe that Black Lives Matter. I believe in equality for all human beings. We’re all God’s children. He made everything. I don’t think God makes any junk. I’m a big believer that we should treat everybody fair. It’s a sensitive question, but it’s time for all of us to change in that respect. A lot of things are changing that are traditional, and a lot of people – especially older people in my age group – don’t want to change. They want to resist change. I don’t understand the resistance to wearing a mask or any of those things, but I think Snyder is doing a good thing.”

He is, but the motivation for doing so is open to interpretation. FedEx, which has sponsorship rights to Washington's stadium, informed Snyder that it wanted “Redskins” to be retired. If it wasn’t, FedEx was prepared to sever ties with the franchise after the 2020 season.

“He was forced to do it. We all realize that,” the 68-year-old Ross said. “He’s not doing it out of the goodness of his heart or he had a change of heart. He’s doing this because of the dollars and cents involved. I learned this over my time in wrestling – 40 years – when somebody says, ‘It’s not about the money, man,’ it’s all about the money. 

“So Snyder is not going to change the name of the Redskins out of his benevolence,” Ross continued. “He’s changing it to save his ass financially. So I like the change, we know why he’s changing, but so what? At least it’s going to be changed. If you’re a Native American, that Redskin name is akin to other slang words that are just as distasteful. It’s just not as widespread or as recognized as someone using slang for an African American or a Hispanic person or whatever it may be. The Native Americans are kind of a forgotten people, and I’m glad to see [the name change] happen.”

Ross, a diehard college football fan, also weighed in on the 2020 season. He, like many, does not know if or how college football will unfold this fall.

“I think the college football season is going to be partially blown to hell, quite frankly,” he said. “You got small schools that are getting a pay day that can’t afford the tests. The directional schools are playing the big boys. They’re going to get a nice pay day, but are they going to have the money to get everybody tested so it’s a safe environment for the players?”

Ross, who lives in Norman, is an Oklahoma season-ticket-holder. He does not think COVID-19 is going away anytime soon.

“I hope that we play . . . but I think the worst is yet to come,” he said. “There’s no way out. There’s no safety net. You got to have a little bit of luck, but that daggum virus is going to be lingering over us, and it’s going to affect football. It’s going to affect everything in our lives. I just think there’s going to be a lot of setbacks. I’m not being a naysayer. I’m not predicting gloom and doom. I’m just talking reality. And the reality of it is the COVID virus doesn’t care if you’re the starting quarterback or whatever. What happens when you have two quarterbacks test positive? It’s just going to be a really unique football season, and one that will probably have an asterisk by it when it’s all said and done.”