A month ago, Mayor Vincent C. Gray stirred an already boiling pot by suggesting that a name change for the Washington Redskins would have to be discussed if the team pursues a move to the District.
“I would love to be able to sit down with the team . . . and see if a change should be made,” he said on Jan. 9. “There’s a precedent for this, and I think there needs to be a dispassionate discussion about this, and do the right thing.”
But Native American activists and others who have lauded those comments may want to temper their enthuisiasm. In a Thursday interview with Washington Post reporters and editors, Gray (D) backed off, explaining that his original remarks were meant to acknowledge that the likely site of a new Redskins stadium — on the site of the old RFK Stadium — is federal property. The name, Gray said, could complicate the process of winning federal approval.