As the Redskins search for a new football home in the future, the RFK Stadium site is one that is at the top of the list. However, unless the team is willing to change its name, the area becoming their new field is a non-starter, The Washington Post reported on Wednesday.
Speaking with several government officials, a similar message was shared throughout. The federally owned land will not be given to the franchise if the name remains what it is today.
“I call on Dan Snyder once again to face that reality, since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital,” D.C.'s nonvoting delegate to the House of Representative Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said. “He has got a problem he can’t get around -- and he particularly can’t get around it today, after the George Floyd killing.”
“There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, D.C., without first changing the team name," D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio said.
Washington's name has been a topic of debate for years but has recently received major pushback over the past month as the nation yearns for racial justice following the murder of George Floyd.
It was also reported on Wednesday that investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion have asked Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to terminate their business relationships with the Washington Redskins unless the team agrees to change its name.
The Redskins have expressed interest in playing on the grounds of RFK after a bill was introduced in 2019 calling for the federal government to sell the area to the city. However, the bill won't pass through Congress unless the land is used for the team under a different name. U.S. Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-Ariz.), chair of the House Natural Resources Committee, referred to the current name as a "racist nickname."
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has stated in the past that he is not open to a name change, as he considers it to be an act of honor toward Native Americans.
Washington currently plays its games at FedEx Fied in Landover, Md. Both sides would like to see the team return to the District, but for as long as they are called the Redskins, it won't happen.
“The time has ended,” Grijalva said. “There is no way to justify it. You either step into this century or you don’t. It’s up to the owner of the team to do that.”
“The city obviously would like the team back,” Norton said. “But it’s important that [Falcicchio] used the word ‘federally’ -- meaning that they now recognize that there is no hope unless this name is changed.”
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