WASHINGTON, D.C. (NEXSTAR) — After years of controversy, the Washington Redskins made it official Monday: that name will no longer be used.
The NFL team hasn’t said what the new name might be, but some lawmakers want other teams to follow suit.
Maryland Democratic Rep. Jamie Raskin said it’s past time for the Washington Redskins to come up with a new name.
“I’ve been a fan of this team since I was a little boy,” Raskin said. “I’ve gotten increasingly uncomfortable being a fan.”
As a representative of the state where the team plays, he said the name is a distraction.
“Because that name is inextricably an affront, an insult to Native Americans,” Raskin said.
Now, Ohio Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown hopes the Cleveland Indians make a change, too.
“Cleveland had a very successful Negro leagues franchise when baseball was all white,” Brown said.
Brown said that team, the Cleveland Buckeyes, made strides for African American players.
“And I think you pick a name based on that tradition,” he added.
A spokeswoman for Ohio’s other senator, Republican Rob Portman, said changing a name is “ultimately a decision that the team will make” after engaging with the community.
Last week, President Donald Trump accused both the Redskins and the Indians of caving to political correctness.
Monday, White House Press Secretary Kaleigh McEnany said the president thinks Native Americans don’t want the names to change.
“He says that he believes that the Native American community would be very angry at this,” she said.
But Raskin said the president doesn’t get the country’s current mood.
“I don’t know that the president can really understand the insult when he calls Elizabeth Warren ‘Pocahontas,’” Raskin said.
The Redskins haven’t said what the team’s new name or logo will be.