Obama Administration Blocking Redskins Move to DC Over Name

Sports: Obama Will Block Redskins Move to DC Over Name
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The Washington Redskins are considering a move from their current home of FedEx Field in Maryland. But the Obama administration will not make it an easy process to return to the District of Columbia. FedEx Field is only 18 years old. Even so, Snyder is looking to get out of the stadium before the team's lease expires in 2026. D.C. owns RFK Stadium, the Redskins' former home and the site of one proposed new stadium. However, the federal government owns the land on which RFK stands, and a report in the Washington Post indicates the name is a significant impediment in allowing the team to return to the District.

According to the Post, Interior Secretary Sally Jewell informed Washington's mayor, Muriel E. Bowser, that the federal government likely would not permit the construction of a new stadium with the team's current name in place. The "Redskins" name has drawn significant heat from protest groups for its racial connotations; team officials and supporters contend that the team's name is indicative of bravery, heritage and tradition.

Jewell has long been a critic of the team's name. “Personally, I think we would never consider naming a team the ‘Blackskins’ or the ‘Brownskins’ or the ‘Whiteskins,’" she said in an ABC interview last fall. "So, personally, I find it surprising that in this day and age, the name is not different."

The District of Columbia leases the RFK Stadium land, as well as surrounding property, from the National Park Service. That lease is scheduled to expire in 22 years. D.C. is competing against Virginia for the possible construction of a new Redskins stadium site.

The debate over the Redskins' name constituted most of the news of the otherwise unremarkable team in 2014. Snyder has denied he would change the name under any circumstance. However, the recent push to remove the Confederate flag from various public locales has demonstrated that even entrenched symbols aren't immune from change or removal, regardless of the heritage and pride those symbols' supporters extol. While the Redskins' name does not carry the same negative connotations, either past or present, as the Confederate flag, the racial nature of the name itself means that it will continue to be a target for change, regardless of Snyder's wishes or demands. - yahoo - jay busbee

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