In an interview over the weekend with The Associated Press, Obama said he would consider altering the nickname, which some Native Americans have denounced as offensive.
"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.
White House press secretary Jay Carney — a longtime fan of the team and friend of owner Daniel Snyder — said Monday he was "proud" of the president's remarks.
The team defended their name 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."