White House press secretary Jay Carney said Monday he was "proud" of President Obama for saying over the weekend he would "think about changing" the name of the Washington Redskins.
Carney noted he was a longtime Redskins fan and a native-born Washingtonian.
"I was proud of my president on this issue," the press secretary said.
He also said that he did not believe Obama had called Redskins owner Dan Snyder to discuss the name.
Carney is a personal friend of the NFL owner, according to a financial disclosure form released in 2011.
In that document, Carney describes receiving a pair of tickets to watch two separate Redskins games in the owner's suite. The disclosure refers to Snyder as a "long-time personal friend."
In the interview with the Associated Press, Obama said that ultimately, the decision to change the name rested not with politicians, but the NFL franchise owners. Still, the president said, he would consider altering the nickname.
"If I were the owner of the team and I knew that the name of my team — even if they've had a storied history — was offending a sizable group of people, I'd think about changing it," Obama said.
The Redskins responded with a statement from their attorney, Lanny Davis, who is also a columnist for The Hill.
"We at the Redskins respect everyone," Davis said. "But like devoted fans of the Atlanta Braves, the Cleveland Indians and the Chicago Blackhawks (from President Obama's hometown ), we love our team and its name and, like those fans, we do not intend to disparage or disrespect a racial or ethnic group."