Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) weighed in on Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder’s new foundation to help Native Americans on Thursday and slammed the controversial owner for ‘throwing a few blankets at the Indians’ to get a nice tax break.
“Dan Snyder, he’s got a great new deal,” the Senate Majority Leader said. “He’s going to throw a few blankets to the Indians and get a tax deduction for it.”
In the late 1700s, Europeans fighting in the French and Indian War distributed blankets infested with smallpox to Native Americans as a way to combat their enemy.
Reid went on to slam Snyder, who has refused to change the name of his team despite many calls to do so — including one from President Barack Obama. Saying the controversial Redskins owner was on the “wrong side of history,” the Nevada senator said it wasn’t a matter of if the team’s name will be changed, but when.
“I think the name will be changed within the next three years,” Reid said. “You know, I may slip a year or two, but I think it’s just a question of time. Because Native Americans are organized. We have Native Americans who now are not all poor. We’ve got these Indian gaming establishments who have money, who are going to help with this. And Dan Snyder’s not the only person in the world with money.”
Reid went on to reference the Washington-area basketball team, the Washington Wizards. Formerly the Washington Bullets, the team changed its name in 1997 because of its violent overtones.
“We’re all used to the Washington Wizards,” the Senate Majority Leader said. “And I don’t know what [the Redskins] will change the name to, but we’ll get used to it.”
In an attempt to silence critics calling on Snyder to change his team’s name, the owner announced the creation of the Washington Redskins Original Americans Foundation earlier this week. The organization will attempt to help Native Americans in need.