Former presidential hopeful Republican Senator John McCain of Arizona is the latest public official to comment on the Washington Redskins name change controversy.
On Friday, Sen. McCain said if he owned the team he would “probably change” the name.
McCain, who appeared on the Dan Patrick Show, added that if he were team owner Dan Snyder he would encourage a dialogue with leaders throughout Indian country concerning the caustic name of the Washington team, CBS Sports reports.
“If they think it's that offensive and terrible, I would certainly – probably – I’m not the owner and he has the rights of an owner. But frankly I would probably change the name,” McCain said. “Myself I’m not offended. You’re not offended. But there are Native Americans who are.”
The topic was addressed after McCain was asked about disgraced Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling. McCain said he cannot equate the Sterling situation with the Redskins debate.
“I’m not sure I connect the two. But I do believe if I were [Snyder] I would sit down with Native American leaders,” he said. “I’ve been involved in Indian Affairs in a long, long time. We have a large Native American population in our state. I’d call the Native American leaders together and I’d sit down with them and say ‘What is it you want?’ If I were him I’d have a dialogue.”
McCain's disposition concerning the team name is quite similar to that of President Barack Obama.
Last October, Mr. Obama stated in an interview with the Associated Press that were he the owner of the team, he’d consider changing the name.
“If I were the owner of the team and I knew that there was a name of my team — even if it had a storied history — that was offending a sizeable group of people, I’d think about changing it,” he said.