Washington, D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray appears to have backtracked on his supposed desire to change the Washington Redskins team name.
Last week, in his State of the District address, Gray referred to the Washington Nationals baseball team by name but refused to call the Washington Redskins by their name, referring to them as “our Washington football team.”
In an interview with the Washington Post, Gray said he has been trying to avoid more “controversy” around the name change issue.
“I was trying to avoid more controversy around this,” Gray said. “I wasn’t going to let my State of the District speech become the ‘Washington football team’ story.”
Gray, in comments last month, also indicated potential locations for a new Washington, D.C. stadium for the Redskins sits on federal land and the federal government, like it did to compel the Redskins to integrate the team in 1962, could force the team to change its name if the team wants a new stadium.
Gray said his comments should not be implied to mean he believes the federal government should force the Redskins to change their team name to build a new stadium on federal land.
“The point I was trying to make at the time was … it’s sitting on federal land,” Gray said. “You know that issue will come up if that’s the proposal, to build the stadium there. That was the point I was making.”
Gray said the “Redskins have made it clear” that they would “like to have the back here” in Washington, D.C.