D.C. Council approves Redskins name change resolution
WASHINGTON (WJLA) - For the second time in its history, the D.C. Council has called on the Washington Redskins to change their nickname.
By a 10-0 vote, the council approved a resolution Tuesday urging the team to abandon the nickname, which some consider offensive to Native Americans. One member abstained, and two were absent.
The council has no power over the team, which plays its home games in Maryland and has its training facility in Virginia. It previously called for a name change in 2001.
The Oneida Nation, which is leading the campaign to pressure the Redskins to change its name, issued a statement after the council vote praising the elected officials.
"the D.C. City Council has placed itself firmly on the side of those who believe there should be no place for institutionalized racism within the National Football League," according to the statement. "This City Council resolution is yet another call for Washington's team owner to do the right thing by halting the callous use of the R-word and moving the team in a positive direction away from its past legacy of racial bigotry."
President Barack Obama said recently that he would consider changing the name if he owned the team. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has called the name "a badge of honor" but said he respects the feelings of those who are offended.
There was no debate on the name change in the council because it's barely controversial at the council.
"We can clearly that changing this racist and derogatory resonates with the people,” says councilmember David Grosso.
Councilmembers Yvette Alexander voted “present” and Vincent Orange disappeared before the vote.
The Redskins web site was still urging fans to express their opposition.
And before Orange disappeared, he introduce a bill for a new redskins stadium in D.C., adding, "I think we have a lot of opportunity and I don't think we should blow it."
Yet in the council meeting, Jay Winter Nightwolf, a WPFW radio personality who said he's a Native American came in chief garb
"This to us is a racist term and it should have been gone a long time ago," he said.
Councilman Kenyan McDuffie said it's a matter of time.
"Ultimately, the name is going to change,” he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.