Calling Redskins owner Dan Snyder the “George Wallace” of the NFL, Lawrence O’Donnell has literally taken the last word.
“Dan Snyder is now the George Wallace of the NFL,” O’Donnell said after reading Snyder’s quote that he would “never” change the name, and told reporters to “put it in caps–NEVER.”
Then, O’Donnell played a clip of Alabama Governor Wallace who in 1963 stood in front of the door at the University of Alabama preventing two black students from integrating the school. He compared this moment to Snyder’s stance on changing the team’s name.
“In that moment, the inevitable force of history overwhelmed George Wallace, pushed him aside, and the University of Alabama was integrated,” O’Donnell said. “The same thing will happen to Dan Snyder, the force of history will crush him. And the name of his football team will be changed.”
O’Donnell, host of The Last Word on MSNBC, said the name Washington Redskins needs to be “rewritten immediately” for many of the same reasons that the words “Colored” and “Negro” were obliterated in the 1960s.
“Even the once polite word Negro became extinct because it was a word imposed on black people by white people,” O’Donnell said. “That’s one way to judge the propriety of racial terminology: Who came up with it, and when did they start using it?”
O’Donnell has joined a swelling list of broadcasters who have weighed in on the name change debate. So far, Mike Wise, Christine Brennan, Peter King, Bob Costas and many others have said that the name is offensive.
“Accuracy has never been part of racial slurs,” O’Donnell said nailing in his point. “Native Americans do not have 'red skin.'”