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The Redskins brand is clearly one of the most valuable in the NFL, but Washington, D.C. mayor Vincent Gray really, really wants the team to change its name. There’s no doubt that his idea is coming from the correct place. The team’s name is certainly unflattering and can be viewed as racist, but does a little insensitivity take precedence over decades of history?
But first, why should Mr. Gray have any say at all? Right now, he doesn’t, but if the Washington Redskins were to move from the team stadium in Maryland to a venue in the Washington, D.C. area—which is run by the federal government—Gray’s opinion may hold sway. The mayor told TMZ there are numerous reasons why he feels the team name is outdated and needs to be cycled out.
“I think it has become a lightning rod, and I would love to be able to sit down with the team … and see if a change should be made. There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing.”
If the Redskins were to consider changing the team name, they wouldn’t be the first team to change due to an insensitive moniker. What makes the Redskins somewhat different is that the franchise is one of the most valuable in all of professional sports and changing the name could actually lesson the property value. It might be worth it for many to see the name changed, but it’s doubtful the team’s big decision-makers would agree to that, at least without a huge fight.