March 8, 2021
Sports News

Wilbon calls Washington’s statement ‘annoying’ and ‘tone-deaf’ – NBC Sports Washington

Washington’s football franchise released a statement on Monday that announced the official retirement of the name ‘Redskins’ and logo, ending an 87-year era of the name. The announcement came just 10 days after Washington stated it was conducting a formal review of the moniker.
pic.twitter.com/wFvTxdUP9s
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) July 13, 2020
Washington’s statement caused plenty of reactions from both people inside and outside the sports world. Former Washington great Darrell Green said he is embracing the team’s next step, while D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said the name is hardly the only issue.
ESPN analyst and longtime D.C. resident Michael Wilbon weighed in on the matter as well on Monday evening, ripping the team and owner Dan Snyder for what he called a “tone-deaf” statement.
“The statement was just sort of annoying and bogus, as things that come out of that camp usually are,” Wilbon said on Pardon the Interruption. “It was bogus. It was tone-deaf. It didn’t acknowledge anything. It didn’t acknowledge anything but try and pat itself on the back.”
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While the statement itself clearly bothered Wilbon, he said that the fact that it annoyed him doesn’t come as much of a surprise.
“So, the statement annoyed me, but probably everything the Washington football franchise does has annoyed me for 10-15 years at least,” Wilbon said.
Additionally, Washington announced that the team has yet to finalize a new replacement name, stating Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera are “working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition-rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years.”
For Wilbon, he doesn’t want the process of coming up with a new name to be drawn out in the slightest bit.
“Just get a name already. I don’t need to chronicle this every day,” Wilbon said. “I know there is a need to update it as a news story and it is that, but I don’t need to follow every inch of this. When you get a name, I don’t want finalists, I don’t want quarterfinalists, I don’t want to hear all that. Get a name, put it out there, and let’s see what it is.”
With Monday’s announcement, Washington is officially moving on from the name ‘Redskins’ just seven years after Snyder said he would “never” change the name. That’s quite the 180-degree turn.
What Wilbon is looking forward to in the coming months, more than finding out what Washington’s new moniker will be, is finding out what caused Snyder to ultimately change his mind on the name.
“What I want to find out later on, somebody is going to do great reporting on this, and it’s going to tell us Snyder’s real reaction around him instead of these stupid statements that everybody puts out now, which is just junk and somewhere between spinning and lies,” Wilbon said. “I want to find out what was going on behind the scenes, and what did they have to do? Did they have to sudate Snyder to get him to understand that the name is gone, and that you’re going to go along with this?”
To finalize the segment, Wilbon reiterated how unmoved he was by the team’s statement.
“Again, that statement that the team released today was sort of embarrassing,” Wilbon said. “Then again, most of the things that franchise does is.”
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