By Michael Dresser
Add Gov. Martin O'Malley's name to the list of prominent Democrats who want Washington's National Football League team to change its name.
O'Malley's statement came in response to a question from Jorge Ramos on the Fusion satellite and cable channel Monday. Ramos asked whether the team should drop the name Redskins because many consider it an ethnic slur.
O'Malley, a potential 2016 presidential candidate, couched his opposition in gentle terms.
"We hope that in every generation we become more understanding of one another, more inclusive as a people, and more respectful of the dignity of every individual and every culture, so I think it probably is time for the Redskins to change their name," he said.
The governor's staff said they could not verify whether the governor had expressed that view before. He joins all three Democratic candidates in the recent gubernatorial primary, each of whom was questioned about the matter during the campaign. Anthony G. Brown, Douglas F. Gansler and Heather R. Mizeur each called for a name change.
The team's owner, Dan Snyder, has steadfastly refused to change the name, denying that the term is offensive despite the disagreement of many Native Americans. The team trains in Virginia but plays its home games in Prince George's County.
The team's name has been a topic of debate at the highest levels of the Democratic Party. President Obama has said the team should "probably" change its name. Hillary Clinton, a possible O'Malley primary rival, called for a change last week, saying the name was "insensitive."
Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, has declined to take a position on the name.
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