President Donald Trump criticized the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians on Monday for considering changing their names in efforts to be “politically correct.”
“They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct,” Trump tweeted.
“Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now,” Trump wrote, striking out at Democratic Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren in the same tweet. Trump has repeatedly mocked Warren, who ran for the 2020 Democratic presidential candidacy, for her supposed Native American heritage.
The NFL’s Redskins released a statement on Friday, announcing that the team “will undergo a thorough review” of the name. Just hours later, the MLB’s Indians declared its commitment to “social justice and equality” by reviewing the team’s name.
“We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community,” the Indians wrote in a statement.
The Indians added that they are trying to decide “the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
“This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” Dan Snyder, owner of the Redskins, said in a statement.
“This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our military,” Ron Rivera, head coach of the Redskins, said.
Contemplations of name changes emerge as protests involving equality and racial justice rise after the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis while being in police custody.
Trump’s remarks on Monday followed a tweet about NASCAR driver Bubba Wallace’s “drivers and officials” who supported Wallace after finding a noose in his garage. The president referred to the incident as being a “hoax.”
Trump had addressed conversations about the Redskins’ name change back in 2013 when former President Barack Obama told the Associated Press that the team should “think about changing it.”
“President should not be telling the Washington Redskins to change their name - our country has far bigger problems! FOCU.S. on them, not nonsense,” Trump tweeted.
Rachel Bucchino is a reporter for The National Interest.