WASHINGTON — The name of Washington’s NFL team was further politicized this week, as Democratic presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders came down on the side of change for the Redskins.
“Washington has a very good football team but it doesn’t have to be called the Redskins,” Sanders told a rallying crowd at a Navajo casino.
It is not an unexpected stance for the self-identifying socialist politician, who was part of a group of 50 U.S. Senators to sign a letter urging owner Dan Snyder to change the Redskins name. That letter came out in the wake of the racial comments made public by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling.
The letter included this pivot from that situation to the Redskins:
“The despicable comments made by Mr. Sterling have opened up a national conversation about race relations. We believe this conversation is an opportunity for the NFL to take action to remove the racial slur from the name of one of its marquee franchises.”
His comments at the Navajo casino seem to be the latest acknowledgement of a long-held belief that Snyder should change the team’s name.
On the other hand, at least he thinks the Redskins are “a very good football team.”