California Gov. Jerry Brown signed legislation Sunday banning the use of Redskins as a team name or school mascot, the Sacramento Bee reported. At the same time, Brown vetoed legislation that would have banned the use of Confederate leaders' names for public buildings and roads in the golden state.
“Local governments are laboratories of democracy which, under most circumstances, are quite capable of deciding for themselves which of their buildings and parks should be named, and after whom,” Brown said in vetoing the legislation barring Confederate names.
Brown issued no comment in approving a ban on use of Redskins as a team name. Redskins is considered a slur against Native Americans by some people and has been debated in the past. More than a decade earlier, California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger vetoed similar legislation.
The bill, put forward by a Democrat, will affect only four high schools in the state in the counties of Madera, Merced and Calaveras. The schools will be required to pick a new name for their teams before the bill takes effect Jan. 1, 2017, after which schools will be required to phase out the old uniforms.
In recent weeks Republican presidential candidates have weighed in with their own opinions on the Redskins. Donald Trump spoke to the New York Times about the football team the Washington Redskins in early October.
“Honestly, I don’t think they should change the name unless the owner wanted to,” Trump said. “I know Indians that are extremely proud of that name. They think it’s a positive.”
Jeb Bush had chimed in on the sports team name controversy before Trump and in a rare moment the two candidates expressed similar stances.
"I don’t think politicians ought to be having any say about that, to be honest with you," Bush said, according to ABC News. “I don’t find it offensive. Native American tribes generally don’t find it offensive.”