The D.C. Council is demanding the Washington Redskins change its name, calling the team’s current title “racist and derogatory.”
The Council approved a resolution Tuesday urging the football team’s owner to change the name to one that is “not offensive to Native Americans or any other ethnic group,” the Washington Post reported.
The Council has no authority to force the team – which practices in Virginia and plays home games in Maryland – to change its name. But the resolution claims the body “is in an important position to acknowledge the controversy” over the local team.
The resolution passed 10-0, with two Council members absent and one abstaining. The Council made a similar call for a name change in 2001.
With the support of the National Football League, the team’s owner Daniel Snyder has refused to consider changing the name.
Mayor Vincent Gray has called the name a “lightning rod,” and said “there should be a discussion” about changing it if the team, which left RFK Stadium in 1997, ever decides to return to D.C.
President Barack Obama spoke out about the issue last month, saying if he were the owner of the Redskins, he would “think about changing it.”
“I don’t know whether our attachment to a particular name should override the real legitimate concerns that people have about these things,” he told the Associated Press.
The Oneida Indian Nation, based in central New York, lauded the Council’s decision.