Ocasio-Cortez to Washington Redskins on ‘Blackout Tuesday’ post: ‘Change your name’
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez criticized the Washington Redskins for participating in “Blackout Tuesday” to highlight racial injustice, with the New York Democrat saying the NFL team should change its name.
The Redskins joined other professional sports teams across the country in sharing a black image with the #BlackoutTuesday hashtag with many doing so this year to draw attention to the killing of George Floyd, an unarmed black man who died in police custody last week after a Minneapolis police officer knelt on his neck for eight minutes.
Ocasio-Cortez, who has more than 7 million Twitter followers, said that if the team wants to stand for racial injustice it should change its name.
Want to really stand for racial justice? Change your name. https://t.co/XTlIJrfNx4
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) June 2, 2020
The tweet had garnered nearly 700,000 likes as of Wednesday afternoon.
Calls to change the team’s name date back decades but heated up again in the 2010s. Owner Dan Synder has been adamant that he will never rename the team.
Former President Obama weighed in on the controversy in 2013, telling The Associated Press that if he 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.”
In 2016, The Washington Post released a poll that showed 9 out of 10 Native Americans were not offended by the name. The survey of 504 people was conducted across every state and D.C.
Then-candidate Donald Trump told The New York Times that the team should not change its name.
“Honestly, I don’t think they should change the name, unless the owner wanted to,” Trump said in October 2015.
“I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name,” he added. “They think it’s a positive.”
The Redskins organization was founded in 1932 as the Boston Redskins before the team moved to the nation’s capital five years later.
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