Football, Sports, Trademarks

‘My Client Is a Jerk,’ Says Prominent Lawyer In Uncontrollable Fit of Honesty

So a lot of clients are jerks.

We all know it, it’s why lawyers are so terrible: we spend all our time taking out how awful some client is on others. But no one ever calls out the client in public, because we’re either too nice or too interested in keeping our business to ridicule our gravy train.

But then there are some lawyers who are big enough and important enough to become the Honey Badger and just rip clients on the radio.

Maybe this is one more advantage of being part of Skull & Bones….

Lanny Davis went on 106.7 The Fan, and let fly with this:

“There are parts of Dan Snyder that I find extremely likable, I think he’s a good guy — wish he would let people know that — but saying all caps isn’t the side of Dan Snyder that I want him to project,” Davis told Holden Kushner and Danny Rouhier of 106.7 the Fan. (Note that Davis didn’t say the comment falsely portrays Snyder. Instead, Davis said it shows an aspect of Snyder’s personality that Davis would prefer remain hidden from public view.)

“I let my opinions be known,” Davis added. “Dan brought me in, and I don’t always tell him what he wants to hear sometimes, and I think that’s why he wants me around, because I get him irritated by telling him what he doesn’t want to hear, but I’m a friend and I’m allowed to do that.”

First of all, good for Davis in expressing some honesty. Second of all, there are parts of Dan Snyder that are likable? I’m incredulous.

The event that prompted this outburst of realkeeping was Dan Snyder, owner of Washington’s NFL franchise, telling USA Today to deliver two giant middle fingers to anyone who thinks that maybe “Redskins” is an offensive name for a business making its trade exploiting a genocide:

“We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder told USA TODAY Sports this week. “As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.”

What if his football team loses an ongoing federal trademark lawsuit? Would he consider changing it then?

“We’ll never change the name,” he said. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Well that makes the job of “making Snyder look good” a lot harder for Lanny Davis, and rather than just suck it up, Davis told the media his client is basically a jerk. After Snyder’s outburst, he penned a letter to the Washington Post (probably at the request of Davis) that expounded on his feelings in a more measured, but nonetheless stupid way.

I respect the opinions of those who disagree. I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn. But we cannot ignore our 81 year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country. After 81 years, the team name “Redskins” continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in the years to come.

We are Redskins Nation and we owe it to our fans and coaches and players, past and present, to preserve that heritage.

OMG, 81 years! That is such a long time! It’s a “heritage” to preserve! I mean, the people that were genocided and marginalized and denigrated through offensive stereotyping weren’t around for a whole 81 years.

I mean, how is someone tone deaf enough to use the word “heritage” when explaining how awesome it is to exploit someone else’s culture?

So Davis recognizes that Snyder is a jerk. Fair. But it’s not like he’s giving up the Redskins ghost. While appearing on Fox News, Davis went after President Obama for weighing in on the subject… really risky to go after him there:

“President Obama has better things to worry about, but he should look at the Chicago Blackhawks who won the Stanley Cup and he’s never said a word about them,” Lanny Davis, an attorney for the Redskins, said on Fox News’s “Fox & Friends.”

Yeah. I’m not going to defend the Blackhawks here, but there might be some differences worth noting. Like, while both teams are named after and trade on Native American culture, only one of the two choose a racial slur as their team name. And no, racism doesn’t get excused because you can show a majority of people aren’t offended. You can pretty much always find a majority willing to be okay with any kind of racism. That’s kind of how it works.

To that end, I leave by giving you the link to the immortal words of Chris Rock, who delivered the best commentary on this subject ever (and I’d have a video here if NBC weren’t total dicks and refused to let any video that might ACTUALLY ADVANCE THEIR BRAND remain on the internet).

Redskins lawyer admits Dan Snyder shouldn’t have said “never” [NBC Sports]
Daniel Snyder says Redskins will never change name [USA Today]
Letter from Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder to fans [Washington Post]
Lanny Davis: Obama wrong on Redskins name [Politico]

(hidden for your protection)

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