Obama: I'd Think About Changing Redskins Name

President says team should consider objections of Native Americans

By John Johnson,  Newser Staff

Posted Oct 5, 2013 11:30 AM CDT

(Newser) – President Obama thinks the Washington Redskins should think about changing their name. In an interview with the AP, the president touched for the first time on the controversy, in which Native American groups have called for a change but team owner Dan Snyder has adamantly refused. “If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team—even if it had a storied history—that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” said Obama.

He added that he didn't fault the organization or its fans. "But I think—all these mascots and team names related to Native Americans, Native Americans feel pretty strongly about it. And I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real, legitimate concerns that people have about these things.” Some other topics:

  • Shutdown: He said again he won't negotiate on the budget or the debt ceiling. "There are enough votes in the House of Representatives to make sure that the government reopens today. And I'm pretty willing to bet that there are enough votes in the House of Representatives right now to make sure that the United States doesn't end up being a deadbeat."
  • Ted Cruz, Senate GOP freshmen: "I recognize that in today's media age, being controversial, taking controversial positions, rallying the most extreme parts of your base, whether it's left or right, is a lot of times the fastest way to get attention and raise money. But it's not good for government." He contrasted with his own tenure in the Senate, adding, "I certainly didn't go around trying to shut down the government."
  • ObamaCare: He urges patience with the software glitches.
  • Iran: He says Tehran is a year or more away from being able to make a nuclear weapon.
You can read the full transcript of the interview here.

File photo of Washington Redskins helmets.
File photo of Washington Redskins helmets.   (AP Photo/Kathy Willens, File)
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