President Trump criticized the NFL’s Washington Redskins and MLB’s Cleveland Indians on Monday after both teams indicated last week that they would consider changing their names in response to criticism that they are racially insensitive.
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“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!”
Washington team owner Dan Snyder, a Trump donor, announced a “formal review” of the name last Friday amid pressure from multiple team sponsors, including FedEx and PepsiCo.
Several companies have publicly called on the franchise to change its name, which critics, including Native American groups, consider to be racist. Prominent retailers, including Nike, Target and Walmart, have pulled team apparel from stores.
“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,” Snyder said in a statement.
Hours after Snyder’s announcement, Indians officials indicated their willingness to consider a name change.
“We have had ongoing discussions organizationally on these issues. The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice,” the team said in a statement. “With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
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