D.C. Council Urges Redskins To Change Nickname
WASHINGTON (AP) — The D.C. Council approved a resolution Tuesday calling on the Washington Redskins to change their nickname, which some consider offensive to Native Americans.
The council voted 10-0 in favor of the resolution, the second time in its history that the body has called for a name change for the city’s NFL franchise. A similar resolution was approved in 2001.
One member abstained from the vote, and two others were absent — among them, Councilmember Marion Barry, who supports a name change.
The council has no power over the team, which plays its home games in Maryland and has its training facility in Virginia.
President Barack Obama said recently that he would consider changing the name if he owned the team. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has called the name “a badge of honor” but said he respects the feelings of those who are offended.
An Associated Press poll released in May found that 79 percent of Americans believed the name should not be changed, while only 11 percent thought it should be changed.
Several journalists and publications have opted to stop using the name in print. Representatives of the Oneida Indian Nation met last month with league officials to push for a name change. The group has also been running radio ads critical of the name in cities where the Redskins play.
Councilmember David Grosso, an independent who introduced the resolution, called the name “racist and derogatory” and predicted that those opposed to it would ultimately prevail.
“The overwhelming pressure will succeed,” Grosso said. “This is now a movement.”
Grosso said he is a fan of the team, but he said Snyder’s position on the name sends a message to Native Americans that “your pain has less worth than our football memories.”
(Copyright 2013 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)