ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) – Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan said Wednesday he believes the name of Washingtonâ€™s professional football team â€œprobably should be changed” though he supported the team’s name when he ran for governor in 2014.
Hogan, a Republican, was asked on NBCâ€™s â€œTodayâ€ show whether he thought the NFL team should change its name.
â€œI think the time is probably right,” Hogan said. “Iâ€™m glad that theyâ€™re having that discussion. I believe the name will be changed.â€
The Washington Redskins play in Landover, Maryland. Hogan grew up in the area as a fan of the team.
â€œItâ€™s got a lot of history associated with the name, but I understand itâ€™s a hurtful name, and in todayâ€™s context it probably should be changed,” Hogan said.
When Hogan ran for governor in 2014, he expressed support for the team’s name. That year, he criticized a U.S. Patent and Trademark Office’s decision to cancel the Redskins’ trademark registration, saying the the decision about what to call the team should be left to team owner Dan Snyder.
In 2014, Hogan told The Washington Times that he likes to â€œcall them the Washington Redskins,â€ and he added that he didnâ€™t think government should have a role in determining what a business should call itself.
The team announced this month that it has begun a â€œthrough reviewâ€ of the nickname, which experts and advocates call a â€œdictionary-defined racial slur.â€
Asked by â€œTodayâ€ host Craig Melvin on Wednesday whether he acknowledged the name was a slur, Hogan said â€œabsolutely.â€
Snyder has not shown a willingness to change the name since buying the team in 1999. The recent national conversation on race has renewed opposition to the name, prompting the team to conduct the formal review.