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NFLSports & PoliticsSports & Race

GRIDIRON LOCK: Obama Makes Case For Washington Football Team Name Change

“I don’t want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here. They love their team and rightly so…I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” The President said Friday during an AP interview.

Despite being as measured as you’d expect a career politician to be on a touchy subject he didn’t need to weigh in on — Obama framed the name change controversy well (we think). Is nostalgia worth the price of offending people in a way we’d normally deem reprehensible? Would you call a Native American a “Redskin” to their face? Would you let someone else do it?

[Via AP] “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team, even if they’ve had a storied history, that was offending a sizable group of people, I’d think about changing it.”

After Rick Reilly’s recent ESPN article shed light on an under reported facet of the “Redskins” debate, the terms of the discussion became a question of whether the name was offensive in the first place. However, as Native American tribes (like New York’s Onieda Tribe) lobby in favor of a name change, pressure to act, or at least address the controversy, falls squarely on the shoulders of Washington’s finest.

[Via AP] But the president appeared to come down on the side of those who have sharply criticized the football team’s name, noting that Indians “feel pretty strongly” about mascots and team names that depict negative stereotypes about their heritage.

Probably the wrong place to go if you want to settle an contentious argument, but it’s nice to see people aren’t sweeping this discussion under the rug. Besides, Obama explicitly stated that the government should steer clear of any injunction involving the issue.

  • Bon

    I’m glad he can’t comment or work on the Government shutdown because the GOP has a “Gun held to the American people’s head” but can comment on a football nickname.


    if they change to washington americans remember where you heard it first… i’m on record in several outlets suggesting this as the most practicle move… forbes estimated the cost of a name change to be $15m… but with this name, they could still keep the colors, logo and mascot… after all, who is more american than a native american?…

  • Jake O’Donnell

    I still think that’s the best idea…though the Washington Americans is a bit of a mouthful. We’re with you, though…

  • Jake O’Donnell

    He was asked a direct question about it. But your point is well taken. Probably should stay away from talking about anything other than the shutdown, at this point.

  • Scott

    Not exactly an appropriate time to talk about the Redskins. There is a government shut down going on right now.

  • Jake O’Donnell

    He was asked a direct question about it.

  • Rohinton Irani

    Well Mr.President I appreciate your Concern….and your Right,It is Offensive !

    But Mr.President….here’s something even MORE Offensive when it comes to the Original People THIS COUNTRY BELONGS To ?

    Question : How MANY TREATIES did the U.S. Goverment HONOR, when it came to The Native American Indians,since we started GENOCIDING them for the past 200 Years !

    Answer ? : ZERO !….Let me Repeat that : ZERO !

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