Redskins to possibly get name change, says D.C. mayor

Thursday January 10th, 2013

Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray wants to change the Redskins name. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images) Washington D.C. Mayor Vincent C. Gray wants to change the Redskins name. (Mandel Ngan/Getty Images)

Robert Griffin III might be playing for a new team soon, that is, one not called the Redskins but still playing for Washington D.C.

D.C. mayor Vincent C. Gray said he would like to discuss changing the name of the team if it relocates back inside city limits, according to Mike DeBonis of The Washington Post.

Gray hinted that the name should come because of its history as being a controversial moniker, a racial slur, calling it a "lightning rod" and said that he would like to "do the right thing." He noted that it's not a dealbreaker if the team were to move back inside D.C. from its current stadium in Landover, Md., but said that it's currently something that he would like to get done and would expect the team to work with him on it:

"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, 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. [T]here’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing."
The precedent to which Gray is referring is the name change the Washington Bullets made to be known as the Wizards. The late Abe Pollin, who owned the team until his death in 2009, had changed the name in 1995 from Bullets to Wizards because he said he didn't want the team to contribute in any way to the city's crime rate.

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