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#pounditFriday, August 7, 2020

Redskins unlikely to get approval for new stadium without changing nickname?

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been very eager to build a new stadium in the District of Columbia. He has also steadfastly fought off criticism from those who want to see the team’s nickname changed. It appears that he may no longer be able to do both.

Snyder has sought to build a stadium at the former site of RFK Stadium, which would move the team out of Maryland and back into the District of Columbia itself. To do so, he would need to get approval from the federal government, as it owns the land in question.

There’s one problem: several key figures who would need to approve such a project said they would not do so as long as the team continues to use the Redskins name.

“I call on Dan Snyder once again to face that reality, since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital,” D.C.’s non-voting congresswoman Eleanor Holes Norton told Liz Clarke of the Washington Post. “He has got a problem he can’t get around — and he particularly can’t get around it today, after the George Floyd killing.”

D.C. deputy mayor John Falcicchio told the Post that there is “no viable path” to stadium approval unless the name is changed. That sentiment was also echoed by Rep. Raul Grijalva, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee that oversees control the land. Grijalva called the Redskins name “racist” and added that the project was a “non-starter” unless Snyder chooses to “step into this century” and find a new nickname.

The Redskins name has long been viewed by many as racist against Native Americans. Some schools and institutions have even banned the display of the name and logo. With the issue of racism in the United States becoming a major topic nationwide in recent weeks, the discussion about the nickname has returned to prominence. Snyder has long resisted efforts to change it and has made no secret about his feelings. Now, though, it appears that he may have to choose between the nickname and the location of the new stadium that he clearly wants.

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