Interior secretary: ‘Surprising’ Redskins name hasn’t changed

Interior Secretary Sally JewellSarah (Sally) Margaret JewellNational parks pay the price for Trump's Independence Day spectacle Overnight Energy: Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone | UN report offers dire climate warning | Trump expected to lift ethanol restrictions Zinke extends mining ban near Yellowstone MORE said she is surprised that the ownership of the Washington Redskins has not changed the team’s name, which many find offensive.

Jewell, whose department includes the Bureau of Indian Affairs, said changing the football team’s name is not a high priority for Indian tribal leaders.


“Personally, I think we would never consider naming a team the ‘Blackskins’ or the ‘Brownskins’ or the ‘Whiteskins,’ ” Jewell said in an interview with ABC News that was released Friday morning.

“So, personally, I find it surprising that in this day and age, the name is not different,” she continued.

But Jewell said tribal leaders do not often talk with her about the issue.

“My personal views are not necessarily reflected in the tribes that I talk to,” she said. “It isn’t high on their agenda.”

Jewell gave her remarks in an interview at Acadia National Park in Maine.

Many Indian American groups, including the National Congress of American Indians and the Oneida Indian Nation, are calling on broadcasters to avoid using the Redskins name, which they say is a racist slur. The U.S. Patent Office has overturned the team’s trademark.

President Obama said he’d consider changing the Redskins’ name, and Attorney General Eric Holder said it is offensive and should be changed.

But in a recent poll by ESPN, 71 percent of respondents said the Redskins should be allowed to keep the name.