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.”
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.”