The Washington Post got the inside scoop Friday on a last-minute effort to sneak a provision into Congress’ spending bill that would pave the way for a new Washington Redskins stadium, but Rep. Betty McCollum (D-MN-04) is vowing to oppose the move because of the team’s “racist” name.
According to The Post, Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has been working with congressional leaders and the Trump administration to secure federal approval to build a new stadium on the team’s current site, which is owned by the federal government. Synder’s back-door dealings could extend his current lease on the land for 99 years, and allow for commercial development on the property.
Additionally, The Post notes that Snyder’s quick work could prevent Maryland and Virginia officials from making a serious bid on the new stadium.
Rep. Rob Bishop (R-UT) objected to the proposal Tuesday, saying “there’s no reason under God’s green earth that the federal government should have RFK stadium.”
“There’s no reason why we had it in the first place, and the city needs it,” he added. McCollum said that she wants to “make sure that the federal taxpayer is whole on this,” but seemed mostly hung up on the team’s name, which she called a “racial slur.”
“That’s not something the federal government should be condoning, encouraging or be a part of,” she told The Post. “Is is because there are no tribes here that it’s okay—they really don’t exist; we can pretend that this doesn’t mean anything? It means a great deal to young Native American children, that means a great deal to Native American veterans. It means a great deal to me.”
The Redskins already survived at least one recent renaming effort in 2014 when a group of U.S. senators formally asked NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to change the name. McCollum’s outrage, however, could reignite the controversy.
“Federal lands in MN, AK, or DC belong to the American people,” she wrote on Twitter Tuesday. “This GOP backdoor deal to give 190 acres of the most valuable land in DC for a new NFL football stadium benefiting a billionaire owner of an NFL team and its racist mascot must be stopped.”
Federal lands in MN, AK, or DC belong to the American people. This GOP backdoor deal to give 190 acres of the most valuable land in DC for a new NFL football stadium benefiting a billionaire owner of an NFL team and its racist mascot must be stopped. https://t.co/JcoPJpnSHq
— Rep. Betty McCollum (@BettyMcCollum04) December 11, 2018
– – –
Anthony Gockowski is managing editor of Battleground State News and The Minnesota Sun. Follow Anthony on Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].
Background Photo “FedEx Field” by Bernard Gagon CC1.0.