Vincent Gray says the Redskins ‘belong in the city’


(John McDonnell/The Washington Post)

 

When D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray ventures into discussions about the Redskins’ team name, someone will get angry. Often many someones.

When the mayor ventures into discussions about where the Redskins should play home games, though, virtually everyone agrees with him. Well, everyone without a vested interest in the Prince George’s County economy, anyhow.

“It would be great to get our football team back in the District of Columbia,” Gray told 106.7 The Fan’s LaVar and Dukes this week. “That’s where they belong. They’re the Washington team. They’re the Washington team, and they should be in our city…and of course we’ve got the site of RFK Stadium still out there….I’d love to see the stadium torn down, and rebuild it. Just build a new stadium right there and bring our football team home where they belong. They belong in the city. They never should have left. With all due respect to my good friend [P.G. County Exec] Rushern Baker, we’d love to see that team leave Prince George’s County and come back to our city.”

Gray also handled a number of other sports issues, such as:

The Wizards team name

“You know, I thought it was a courageous thing for Abe Pollin to change that name,” Gray said. “I don’t think people even saw it as offensive, but he saw it as potentially precipitating violence. That people would see it associated with guns and whatnot. I think they’re the Wizards now; let’s stay at the Wizards so we have — I won’t say just politically correct names for our teams; so we have teams that don’t connote behavior necessarily that we don’t want people to engage in.”

The Nats’ chances in 2013

“They really filled some holes over the winter,” Gray said. “We’ll get Strasburg back who will play the whole season. They brought in Span as a center fielder. Look at the outfield now: you’ve got Jayson Werth, you’ve got Bryce Harper and you’ve got Span, really quick guys who can hit. They brought in Soriano from the Yankees as a closer. We’ve got Haren in there who’s a starter. This is a team that, on paper, looks like almost a lock for the World Series, although I don’t want to jinx them.”

On a D.C. United stadium

“Yes I’d love to see the team there, I’d love to see a new stadium. We want to make sure our team stays here. We have a new owner — he’s very enthusiastic, very active — and we want to work with him to see if we can work together and bring a stadium to the city.”

Dan Steinberg writes about all things DC sports at the DC Sports Bog.
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Dan Steinberg · March 20, 2013