Obama to Washington Redskins: ‘You Should Change Your Name’

In a startling turn of event in the controversy surrounding the name of the Washington “Redskins”, President Barack Obama told reporters that he would seriously “think about changing” the team’s name.

In an interview with The Associated Press, the president said that team names such as the “Redskins” are offensive to “a sizable group of people.” Fox News stated on Sunday morning, however, that “90% of Native Americans” are “not offended” by the term. Fox, however, did not provide any citation for this bizarre claim that has confused Indigenous activists since the words were uttered.

Obama said that while fans get attached to the names of their teams, “nostalgia” the Associated Press reported “may not be a good enough reason to keep them in place.”

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

Zena "Chief Z" Williams

The president said he doesn’t think that football fans are intentionally trying to offend Native Americans.

“I don’t want to detract from the wonderful Redskins fans that are here. They love their team and rightly so.”

Dan Snyder, the Washington Redskins team owner has sworn to never change the name.

But last month, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said the league should pay more attention the offense that the name causes.

Other sports teams have similar names, like football’s Kansas City Chiefs and baseball’s Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians, but while they may be in poor taste, none is quite as directly offensive as the name “Redskins.”

  • Makali Utlayolisdi

    Part of the problem is that many terms relating to American Indians have always been racist only the public as a whole does not know or understand these terms and what they mean. “Redskin” to an American Indians the equivalent of “ni–er” to an African American. Yes, it is the same sort of slur and always has been. The vast majority of people do not know this because the term “redskin” has been used and allowed to flourish unchecked in countless commercial ventures from sports teams to movies and more.

    Hollywood did a lot of damage using other terms that are racist and when told about them refused to change anything. One of the worst of these is the word so many think mean “Indian woman” – squaw. Except for one and only one of the many, many American Indian dialects this word means the same as “vagina”, “whore”, “slut” and worse. Still, movie producers, TV writers, advertising media companies and many others still use it and refuse to stop.

  • pimaivey

    Who is your legitimate source that 90% of natives are not offended? Bet you made it up. I’m native and I’m offended as are all the other native people I talk to. Haven’t found one who said the thought it was Grrreat. Maybe you could name yourselves after Tony the Tiger, he’s fictional.

    • PBSpot Admin

      To be clear, Political Blind Spot does not buy this dubious statistic either.