On Monday the D.C. Council announced it wanted to bring the team back to Washington. But mayor Vincent Gray said on Wednesday the team’s nickname and mascot is unacceptable and that there needs to be a discussion before a move can even be considered.
“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,” Gray said after a news conference, according to the Washington Post, “and of course the team is going to have to work with us around that issue.”
“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,” he said. “There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing.”
The Washington Post also points out the Redskins was one of the last teams to hire a black player.
“Recall that the Redskins, under avowed racist owner George Preston Marshall, did not field a black player until 1962, after Interior Secretary Stewart Udall threatened to deny the team the use of what would later be named RFK Stadium unless it integrate,” Mike DeBonis wrote for WaPo.
The Redkins played in D.C. from 1937 to ‘97 when they moved to Landover, Md.