Obama admin. to block new Redskins stadium over team name
And this resistance isn’t just talk. The land beneath Robert F. Kennedy Memorial Stadium, which is the prospective site for construction, is owned the Department of the Interior – a federal agency. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell told DC Mayor Muriel Bowser this spring that the agency was unlikely to play ball unless the team changes its name.
The issue of a name offensive to Native Americans is particularly relevant for the Department of the Interior, which deals with government relations and treaties with Native American tribes, in addition to overseeing national park land.
Jewell thinks the team should change its name, telling ABC News in September 2014, that she was surprised that it hadn’t done so already.
“Personally, I think we would never consider naming a team the ‘Blackskins’ or the ‘Brownskins’ or the ‘Whiteskins.’ So, personally, I find it surprising that in this day and age, the name is not different,” Jewell said.
Daniel Snyder, the team’s owner, insists that the name “Redskins” honors Native Americans and has vowed never to change it. He has begun the process of designing a new stadium for the franchise, and mentioned DC as a possible location in August.
The Redskins name has long been a source of controversy, with the franchise losing the trademark for the name in 2014.
The team hasn’t played in Washington, DC since 1996.