The Washington Redskins are winning again, so District residents are starting to wonder whether the team's stadium will move back inside city limits, and if such a move would prompt its ownership to consider changing a moniker long seen as a racial slur.
Team owner Dan Snyder opposes a name change, but Washington Mayor Vincent Gray said he would consider it, especially if the Redskins moved back to the District from their current home in Landover, Md.
“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,” Gray said at a Wednesday news conference, via the Washington Post. “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," Gray added.
“There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing,” he said.
Washington Post columnist Courtland Milloy wrote a scathing critique of the team moniker Tuesday saying:
Whooping and hollering as RGIII goes on a “Redskins” warpath only to leave a trail of tears when his wounded knee gets buried at FedEx Field.
Does anyone really believe that the name “Redskins” will survive the 21st century? Other than the people who probably thought white actors in blackface would survive the 20th? The genocide of Native peoples, like America’s other original sin, slavery, cannot be forever masked with caricatures of the dead.
The Redskins moved from Boston to Washington in 1937. In 2009, the Supreme Court refused to take up the case of a group of native Americans challenging the name.