So, the Redskins would have us believe that because they got a flighty, minority assistant coach to conduct a token interview for a not-yet-vacant head coaching gig , they aren’t a racist organization.
We’ve had the discussion about what’s in a name, and for all intents and purposes on their end, the Redskins have succeeded in making folks tired of hearing about it. But this is an entirely different method of minority madness; one that speaks to an inherent problem this organization has shouldered since the days of George Preston Marshall.
It’s not that they keep us out, it’s that they don’t treat us well when we’re inside the doors.
To be clear, this isn’t a habit started by Daniel Snyder, but it is certainly one he doesn’t mind propagating throughout his dealings. No, Snyder didn’t stubbornly refuse integration until receiving a mandate from the halls of Congress. No, he didn’t rename Palmer Park, MD "Raljon," and to my knowledge, he has never publicly endorsed D.C.’s biggest racial stereotype, Chief Zee.
But can you recall a time where an African-American was bandied around for any of Snyder’s bi-annual coaching changes? Of all the teams where there is significant African-American interest and participation, local owners have been progressive about hiring black coaches. Part of Abe Pollin’s legend is a unique dedication to equitable hiring practices of African-American coaches and executives.
The Washington Nationals have had two minority managers since moving to the city and they’ve not been shy about pursuing and signing minority free agents.
And yeah, black players and staff are right up Snyder’s alley. Assistants, coordinators, no problem. But between former Skins’ defensive coordinators Ray Rhodes and Marvin Lewis, and every other prominent black coach or coordinator that has cycled in and out of NFL positions when sparingly allowed, not one has been good enough to at least make the Redskins’ rumor mill?
And how many bad quarterbacks have the Redskins had since 1999? How many of them have had to endure the kind of innuendo and rumors that Jason Campbell has had to endure? They at least got the courtesy of being shipped out. No questions asked, no room for speculative emotions.
Racism is not an easy thing to define or to accept for anyone. We all have it; we all use it to our advantage for one reason or another. But the gracious among us at least are willing to challenge ourselves to better thinking habits when we know it can prohibit professional or personal betterment. We’re smart enough to know that outside of surviving in a foreign place or circumstance, racism will never help you get anywhere.
It seems that Snyder hasn’t learned that lesson well, despite the lineage of ignorant money-wielders that preceded him. And the worst part about it?
He’ll never care enough to refute any of it.