Redskins Owner Buys 'Keep the Name' T-Shirts from Stunned Vendors
The Washington Post reports that Sean Labar, 26, and Shelby Myers, 24, who have been selling “Keep-the Name” T-Shirts in Richmond, Virginia, had the biggest supporter of keeping the "Redskins" name stop at their corner to buy T-shirts this weekend: Redskins owner Daniel Snyder.
Standing on the corner of Leigh and Hermitage, Labar and Myers watched a black Escalade approach them. Labar said, “It came across three lanes of traffic and pulled up at the sidewalk. Two security guys popped out. One guy said ‘Mr. Snyder wants to talk to you.’”
Snyder climbed out of the Escalade, and shook the young sellers’ hands, exclaiming, “Love the shirts, guys, love what you’re doing.” When Labar said he would ship some of the shirts to Snyder, Snyder responded he wanted to buy them, which was followed by Snyder’s wife emerging from the vehicle and buying four herself while praising the sellers.
Half an hour later, the Snyder’s security team came back to the corner and bought six more shirts; Labar and Myers sold over 70 shirts on Saturday.
It was pretty cool, coming from just trying to sell a few shirts, just messing around with it. Being a Redskins fan my entire life, that kind of reached the pinnacle for us. We always talked about maybe getting a player to get in the shirt, or maybe getting a coach to get in the shirt. But when you have an owner willing to come spend his money on your shirts, that was kind of the ultimate honor.
Labar studies sports journalism at Towson University. Myers works in sales. Labar originally designed the shirts to simply read: “Keep the Name.” But Myers’s dad, a graphic designer, created the logo.
The couple took a month to obtain a vendor’s permit. Labar said he will return to the corner three or four more times before the team’s training camp finishes. After that, the couple wants to station their wares outside FedEx Field during the season.
Labar said there have been people who target him with their disapproval, whether in person or through social media, but defended himself by asserting: "I've always been a Redskins fan, and always identified with the pride that was associated with the name. I grew up singing Hail to the Redskins and watching Chief Zee get the crowd excited. There is just too much history that is associated with the name."
He added, “I knew that comes with the territory. I say, ‘I’m just a fan. I know where you’re coming from, but we’re going to grind it out until people stop buying them.’ This was a way to make money, but it’s also something I believe in. I just saw a need.”
The shirts can be bought on eBay, or through the couple’s Twitter account or email address.