The mayor of Washington, D.C. believes it’s time for the city’s football team to consider a name change.
The Washington Redskins have come under fire for sticking by a team name that many say is insensitive or even offensive to Native Americans. That scrutiny has grown even sharper in recent weeks as protests have arisen across the country in response to the death of George Floyd and amid calls to address systemic racism.
As NBC Sports Washington noted, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser said during a radio appearance on Friday that the team’s insistence on keeping the name has become an obstacle to them getting a new stadium in the city. The Redskins currently play in Landover, Maryland, roughly 10 miles outside the city.
“I think it’s past time for the team to deal with [a name that] offends so many people,” Bowser said during an appearance on the Doc & Galdi show. “And this is a great franchise with a great history that’s beloved in history and it deserves a name that reflects the affection that we feel for the team.”
Bowser went on to say that they are continuing to work on a deal for a new stadium, but the name remains an obstacle on a number of levels.
“It’s an obstacle for us locally but it’s also an obstacle for the federal government who leases the land to us,” she said.
Many took aim at the Redskins for participating in Blackout Tuesday this week, a day when many individuals and companies went dark on social media in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. As The Inquisitr noted, the Redskins posted a message on social media in support of the movement, but came under fire from critics who accused the team of paying lip service to the movement while refusing to address its own controversial history.
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) June 2, 2020
“How about starting with blacking out your logo and change your team’s racist nickname,” one critic wrote on Twitter. “That’s how you can help combat racism. Look in the damn mirror.”
The team has already faced a number of protests and calls from activists to change the name, but team owner Dan Snyder has not shown a willingness to do so. Other sports teams containing questionable Native American-related terms have changed in recent years, including the Cleveland Indians, who in 2018 scrapped a logo known as Chief Wahoo, which many had decried as a racist caricature.