The debate regarding the Redskins name reflects for many a red state/blue state issue, with conservatives supporting the idea that the name isn’t racist and liberals pushing for the name to change.
But not every conservative insists that the name should remain in place. Arizona Senator John McCain, the 2008 Republican presidential candidate, explained during an in-studio visit to Friday’s Dan Patrick Show that owner Daniel Snyder should “probably” change the name.
“I do believe that, if I were him, I would sit down with Native American leaders,” McCain said. “I’d call the Native American leaders together. And I’d sit down with them, and I’d say, ‘OK, what is it that you want? How do you want me to do it?’ If I were him, I’d have a dialogue. And if they think it’s that offensive and terrible I would certainly probably — I’m not the owner, he has the rights of an owner — but frankly I would probably change the name. Myself, I’m not offended, you’re not offended. But there are Native Americans who are.”
As to the question of whether “Redskins” is or isn’t a slur, McCain (whose state includes a large population of Native Americans) was unequivocal: “They do consider it a slur.”
Dan also asked McCain what he’d do if he were Commissioner Roger Goodell.
“I’d say have a dialogue, and then come back to me,” McCain said. “And if the Native Americans are not satisfied, then you ought to consider changing it.”
While McCain’s comments won’t end the debate, it’s one thing for Harry Reid to speak out against the name. It’s quite another for John McCain to do so.