- The Washington Times - Wednesday, September 30, 2015


The Washington Redskins have at least one high-profile politician on their side when it comes to the ongoing battle over the team’s name, and whether it’s offensive to Native Americans. Republican presidential hopeful Jeb Bush stands by the name.

“I don’t think they should change it. But again, I don’t think politicians ought to have any say in that, to be honest with you. I don’t find it offensive. Native American tribes generally don’t find it offensive,” Mr. Bush tells The Arena, a new SiriusXM show which showcases both sports and political figures.

“We had a similar kind of flap with Florida State University if you recall,” Mr. Bush continued, recalling the school’s own team name.”The Seminoles. And the Seminole tribe itself kind of came to the defense of the university and it subsided. It’s a sport for crying out loud. It’s a football team.”

The former Florida governor added, “Washington has a huge fan base. I’m missing something here I guess.”

Some are not happy with his candor.

Jeb Bush’s support of the Washington football team’s name and mascot is extremely insulting to Native American people and is one of many reasons he will not earn the Native American vote. The team’s name is a racial slur that perpetuates negative stereotypes of Native American people, and reduces proud cultures to an insulting caricature,” noted Democratic National Committee Chair Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz in a statement.

The interview itself airs Friday on The Arena, which is hosted ABC News political director Rick Klein and ESPN senior correspondent Andy Katz. The one-hour weekly series is an innovative hybrid. It will feature familiar names from the sports and political worlds who will ponder how sports-related topics can drive the agenda in the nation’s capital - where politics is often deemed a spectator sport in the first place.

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