Maryland governor-elect Larry Hogan pulled off one of the Republicans’ biggest upsets in Tuesday’s midterm elections, defeating Democratic challenger Lt. Gov. Anthony Brown. Hogan spent much of his campaign criticizing Brown for tax increases enacted by lame-duck Gov. Martin O’Malley, under whom Brown has served for the past eight years, but he also blasted Brown for his stance on the Redskins name.
Back in February, Brown said the name was “inappropriate” and expressed hope that Redskins owner Daniel Snyder would consider changing it.
“[Brown’s] a hypocrite,” Hogan told the Washington Times editorial board in October. “Anthony Brown went to every game with lobbyists and people he was trying to impress and big donors. And they were all wearing Redskins hats and Redskins jackets. They were all eating and drinking on the taxpayers’ dime. Now he refuses to call them the Redskins. He calls them ‘the professional football team in Washington,’ while he wears his Redskins hat and coat and he goes to the games.”
Hogan, who decried the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to cancel the Redskins’ trademark registration in June, says the decision about what to call the team should be left to Snyder.
“I like to call them the Washington Redskins and I don’t think the government has any business whatsoever trying to tell a private enterprise what they should call themselves,” he told The Times. “There used to be a thing called freedom of speech. I also understand a lot of people are offended by the name but a lot of people are offended by Washington. Maybe they should drop that from the name.”
During a debate last month, Hogan’s running mate, Lt. Gov.-elect Boyd Rutherford, was asked about what investments Maryland should make to keep the Redskins in the state.
“Well, I have to admit I’m conflicted with that,” Rutherford said. “I’m a native Washingtonian, in case you didn’t know. I’ve lived in Maryland for over 20 years now. But I remember the team being at RFK. So I’ll have to fight with Larry a little bit on that in terms of keeping them in Maryland, particularly if they decided they wanted to go back to D.C. at a new RFK or something of that nature, because I think my heartstrings still go back to the District of Columbia on that.”
Not surprisingly, Rutherford said that changing the name would not be a precondition for any future stadium deal.