On Wednesday, the Obama administration announced it would block an attempt by city leaders to move the Washington Redskins back to Washington, D.C.
The announcement hits as a non sequitur of sorts as the team plays in the relatively new FedEx Field, a Landover, Maryland, stadium built in the late 1990s that subsequently enticed the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority to build a train stop nearby. Though political leaders in the district may wish to bring the Redskins back to Washington, the Redskins have expressed no desire to do so.
Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell said no national park land would be granted to the Redskins for use thanks to the team name. Jewell has long railed against the name “Redskins,” recently telling ABC News that the name was a “relic of the past” akin to “Blackskins,” “Brownskins,”or “Whiteskins.”
Jewell reportedly told Washington, D.C., Mayor Muriel Bowser that the name played a key role in her decision to reject a potential stadium, according to spokeswoman Jessica Kershaw. This move comes as no shock given the Obama administration’s pressure on the patent office to reject the Redskins’ team trademark.
While the Washington Post states that Jewell’s decision “badly hinders” the attempt for the Redskins to come back to Washington D.C., the truth is that the Obama administration had no intention of helping out with the move anyway, as even the Post recognizes. Kershaw told the Post, “Given the timing, this is not likely to be a priority for this administration.”
Other Democrats seem less touchy about the team name. Former Democratic National Committee chairman and current Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe said just a few months ago, “I would love to have the Redskins come to the Commonwealth of Virginia. It’s where they belong.”