President Trump said Monday that he didn’t support renaming the Washington Redskins nor the Cleveland Indians.
‘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.
He then added that ‘Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now!’
President Trump said Monday that he was against the renaming of the Washington Redskins and the Cleveland Indians
President Trump dashed off this tweets shortly after a reporter had asked White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany his view on teams’ decision to conduct a review into the names
In reality, Native American groups have been pressuring the teams – especially the NFL team in Wasington – to change their names for years.
On Friday, the D.C. team announced that the name was now under review, with sources familiar with the discussions among owner Dan Snyder, NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and NFL officials telling The Washington Post that the result is expected to be a new team name and mascot.
‘You know where this leads,’ one source said. ‘They’re working on that process [of changing the name.] It will end with a new name. Dan [Snyder] has been listening to different people over the last couple of weeks.’
From early on in his presidency, Trump has warred with NFL players over following Colin Kaepernick’s lead and kneeling during the national anthem to protest racial inequality.
Until recently, Trump has had the subtle backing of the NFL, who at one point planned to fine teams if players were kneeling.
But in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death and the subsequent ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, Goodell admitted to the players that the league had been wrong.
‘We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier, and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protes,’ Goodell said. ‘We at the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter.’
‘I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country,’ he added.
On Friday, the same day the Washington football team announced its name review, the Cleveland Indians did too.
Trump hasn’t had as many political dust-ups with baseball teams as he has with other sports’ types – though he was booed at a Washington Nationals game last year.
Monday also marked Trump skewering NASCAR and asking that the one black driver, Bubba Wallace, apologize for what the president called a ‘HOAX.’
NASCAR officials thought they had found a noose in Wallace’s garage and had the FBI investigate the matter. It turned out that the rope was a standard pull and not left there to intimidate Wallace, who painted his car in support of ‘Black Lives Matter.’
But Trump tweeted Monday morning asking, ‘Has Bubba Wallace apologized to all of those great NASCAR drivers & officials who came to his aid, stood by his side, & were willing to sacrifice everything for him, only to find out that the whole thing was just another HOAX?’
‘That & Flag decision has caused lowest ratings EVER!’ Trump said, referring to NASCAR’s recent decision to ban the Confederate flag for its race tracks.
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany spent significant time at Monday’s briefing answering questions about the president’s tweet.
She was also asked about his views on the Washington football team and the Cleveland Indian name reviews.
‘I haven’t spoken to the president on that,’ McEnany had replied.
Trump answered the question minutes later with his tweet.
He brought up Warren, who ran for president on the Democrat side earlier this year, because she had long claimed Native American ancestry. During campaign events, Trump has nicknamed her Pocahontus.
In 2013, when President Obama was in office, Trump had also chimed in.
‘President should not be telling the Washington Redskins to change their name-our country has far bigger problems! FOCUS on them,not nonsense,’ Trump wrote.
In recent weeks, as the coronavirus pandemic continues to spike in states like Florida and Texas, Trump has devoted considerable bandwidth to culture war issues.
The White House has objected to journalists labeling it a ‘culture war.’
He dedicated back-to-back speeches at Mount Rushmore and the White House to preserving America’s monuments – never differentiating between the Confederate monuments activists have been largely targeting for their links to white supremacy and other statues that have been pulled down.
He also vowed to veto a defense bill over a provision, authored by Warren, that would rename military bases still named for Confederate, Civil War figures.
Asked by a reporter at Monday’s briefing while all the ‘cultural stuff’ was worth the president’s time during a pandemic, McEnany offered, ‘He’s focused on two things at once, something we’re all capable of doing.’