The mayor of Washington, D.C., would like the Washington Redskins to reconsider their nickname.
Mayor Vincent Gray said today that he’d like to explore the possibility of the Redskins (who currently play their home games in Landover, Maryland and have their offices in Ashburn, Virginia) moving back into the city. But he thinks that would be a tough sell in D.C. as long as the team has a nickname that is viewed as a racial slur.
“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, and of course the team is going to have to work with us around that issue,” Gray said, via the Washington Post. “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 did not state categorically that changing the team name would be a requirement to moving back into the city, but he did express discomfort with having a divisive nickname for the team.
The franchise was founded in 1932 and called the Boston Braves, sharing a name and Braves Field with a baseball team. In 1933 the franchise moved to Fenway Park, which it shared with the Boston Red Sox, and so the team changed its name to the Boston Redskins. The team moved to Washington in 1937. The Redskins have been criticized for their nickname for decades, and although several American high schools and Miami University in Ohio have stopped using the Redskins name, franchise owner Daniel Snyder has shown no inclination to change.