NFL

Washington D.C. Mayor Reportedly Wants to Talk About Changing Redskins' Nickname

LANDOVER, MD - SEPTEMBER 11: Redskins owner Daniel Snyder looks on before a game between the Minnesota Vikings and the Washington Redskins during the first Monday Night Football game of the season on September 11, 2006 at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. The Vikings won 19-16. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
Jamie Squire/Getty Images
Richard LangfordCorrespondent IJanuary 9, 2013

The Washington Redskins could be on the verge of being pressured to change their name. 

NFL.com's Gregg Rosenthal reports that "Washington D.C. mayor Vincent C. Gray suggested Wednesday that he'd like to discuss a possible name change with the Washington Redskins franchise."

The mayor's stance is not surprising. After all, the team name is terribly politically incorrect, and politics are always front and center in the nation's capital. This is a favorable position for the mayor to take as he tries to make his voting base happy, and the negative backlash is minimal. 

As it is now, the Redskins don't even play in the District of Columbia; they play in Landover, MD. Their home, FedEx Field, is outdated (opened in 1997) and this historic franchise could use a new stadium.

Complaints about the FedEx Field playing surface reached a fever pitch after last week's playoff loss to the Seahawks.  Both Pete Carroll and Mike Shanahan voiced their displeasure with the quality of the field and Chris Clemons' agent blamed it for his client's ACL injury.

To that end, there have been discussions to build them a new stadium in D.C.; that process will be a lot easier on the Redskins' end if the mayor is on board with the process, and that means the Redskins would be wise to heed the mayor's wishes. 

This won't be an easy decision for the Redskins, and owner Daniel Snyder hasn't been the type to cave in to the demands of others.

Since 1932, the franchise has been building tremendous value in its brand under the Redskins name.  Last September, Forbes.com valued the Redskins at $1.6 billion, the third most valuable NFL franchise.

However, there is reason to believe that the pressure to change their name will only increase and it will likely come to a point where maintaining the name becomes bad business for the organization. 

While there will be a period of disconnect while they work under a new name, at some point, this switch will need to be made. They might as well do that now and get it over with. 

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