Levi Rickert, editor-in-chief in Native Currents. Discussion »
WASHINGTON When it comes to the vast majority of American Indians who object to use of American Indian imagery in sports for mascots and logos, at least the leader of the free world gets it.
The Washington Post reports this morning that President Barack Obama says that if he owned the Washington National League Football team, he would ‘think about changing’ the team name.
In an interview cited by the Washington Post, the president said team names that offend a “sizable group of people” and went on to say while fans get attached to nicknames, nostalgia may not be a good enough reason to keep them in place.
As he continued talking, President Obama acknowledged American Indians “feel pretty strongly” about mascots and team names that depict negative stereotypes about their heritage.
The name of the Washington NFL team has been controversial for decades with American Indians, who maintain the “R-word” means to them what the “N-word” means to African Americans.
This year there has been a renewed momentum to get the Washington team’s owner Dan Synder to change the name. He has vowed to never change the name.
Even some Congressional members have weighed in on the subject by introducing legislation to have the team’s name changed to a name that does not offend American Indians.
Several American Indian groups have protested the team use of the name this fall outside of stadiums where the football team has played.
President Obama hinted he may someday think about becoming part-owner of a professional sports team. However, he indicated he knows more about basketball than he does football. So, he would be inclined buy a professional basketball team after he leaves the presidency.
posted October 5, 2013 11:30 am edt