That’s the right stand for public officials to take. And it is one that should be adopted by officials in Maryland and Virginia, whom Mr. Snyder is playing against each other in a bid to get not only a new stadium but also a stake in the lucrative sports betting industry.
The Post’s Erin Cox and Ovetta Wiggins report that team officials have met in recent weeks with officials in Virginia and Maryland to seek support for the team’s possible building plans. The team’s lease for FedEx Field in Prince George’s County expires in 2027. With efforts to return to RFK stalled, Mr. Snyder has floated plans for a sprawling sports and entertainment complex at the current Prince George’s site that would include the team’s corporate headquarters and practice facilities now located in Virginia. The pitch to Virginia included mention of potential stadium sites. As part of the lobbying effort, the team has asked for the ability to offer sports wagering.
Legislation favorable to the team is advancing in Virginia, while Maryland officials seem to be taking a more cautious approach. Given Mr. Snyder’s management — make that mismanagement — of the team, they are right to be wary. “Even if it made political and economic sense, you add in the performance of the past few seasons and the way the fan base has been treated, it’s a really, really tough sell,” said Maryland Sen. Thomas V. Mike Miller Jr. (D-Calvert). An even more significant caveat that Mr. Miller, the Senate president emeritus, should have mentioned is Mr. Snyder’s stubborn refusal to change a name that is a demeaning slur of Native Americans.
We pause here to stipulate that thousands of team fans root passionately for the team, under its current name, and cherish its history with no ill intent. It is also true, however, that no respectful person today would dream of calling a Native American a “redskin.” Mr. Snyder has the right to call his team anything he wants, no matter how odious. Public officials have the right — and responsibility — to look out for the broader public good.