Robert Griffin III might not be playing for the Redskins any time soon - or ever again. A Redskins name change could be on the horizon, as the first step toward moving the team out of the DC suburbs and into the city.
The Redskins name change was proposed by Washington, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray. Mayor Gray wants a Redskins name change to be discussed as a prerequisite for a new stadium deal that would move the team out of Landover, MD and into the city limits. The reason he wants a Redskins name change is simple: the name is a racial slur for Native Americans, has been one since the team moved to the DC area in the 1930s, and looks more ignorant with each passing year.
Gray said during a news conference: “I think that if they get serious with the team coming back to Washington, there’s no doubt there’s going to have to be a discussion about that, and of course the team is going to have to work with us around that issue.”
“I think it has become a lightning rod, and I would be love to be able to sit down with the team … and see if a change should be made,” he said. “There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing.”
The precedent is right in his own city. The Washington Wizards were known as the Washington Bullets for years after moving from Baltimore, but the team eventually changed the violent moniker on account of the sky-high murder rate that made the nation's capital the murder capital of the US.
A Redskins name change has been discussed before, and Native American groups have filed lawsuits in the past, but if the Mayor and the city council make a Redskins name change the deciding factor in a new stadium deal, owner Daniel Snyder may have to consider it.