President Obama “Would Think About Changing” Washington Redskins Name

Features

/ October 5, 2013

Obama might not be negotiating with Republicans over the debt ceiling, but he’d “think about changing” the Washington Redskins team name. The 44th President of the United States sat down with the Associated Press to talk about the controversial football team’s moniker that he believes offends “a sizable group of people.” In recent months Native Americans have sought to have the team name blocked from federal trademark protection. Most recently, the New York-based Oneida Indian Nation began running their “Change the Mascot” campaign, a series of radio ads calling for a Redskins name change.

American Indians have long fought against degrading team mascot names. While professional teams like the Kansas City Chiefs and the MLB’s Cleveland Indians aren’t as quick to respond, several universities have changed their logos and mascots, most notably St. John’s University, who now goes by the Red Storm, not the Redmen.

“I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” Obama said in regards to the Washington Redskins name.

The president was clear on his statement, saying his remarks weren’t meant to offend fans of the D.C. football team either. “I don’t want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here,” he continued. “They love their team and rightly so.”

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder refuses to change the football franchise’s name. Oneida Indian Nation is expected to protest in Washington D.C. on Monday when the NFL hosts its annual fall meeting there.

On a side note, the Washington Redskins aren’t doing so well this season. A month into the regular football season, they are 1-3. Perhaps a name change would do some good?