Rams’ Sean McVay on Washington’s name change: ‘I always want to empathize with people if there’s a soft spot on it’
The Rams will hit the road to take on Washington on Sunday. McVay was asked about the issues around the old Washington name, which was retired in the summer. McVay was a former assistant coach with Washington when the team was named the Redskins.
“I would say this – anytime that there’s a possibility that somebody is offended by it, I’d always err on the side of being sensitive to those feelings and circumstances,” McVay said.
“It wasn’t something that I am probably educated enough on to really speak on, other than, I always want to empathize with people if there’s a soft spot on it. And if there is, I don’t think you can ever be too cautious about being considerate to people’s feelings, if it is something that they deemed offensive. So that’s why I think it is what it is right now.”
McVay was also asked whether it was difficult to use the name even in private.
“It’s different. I mean, you get accustomed to saying it. Even when I first got here sometimes, because I was there for so long, you almost have to correct yourself from saying the old ‘R word’ instead of the Rams,” he said.
“So, it’s different. What also is different is the team. There are very few players that are still left on that roster that I was with. It’s a very small number. It shows you the turnover that occurs in this league. Not many people on the coaching staff, there’s still a couple people in some different departments. But, it’s amazing. You just realize how much things change in this league year-after-year and sometimes for good, sometimes for not good. It’ll be good to go back there, but it’ll feel very different because so many of the people that are there now, I don’t really know.”
Washington came under fire for having the nickname amid a time of heightened awareness over social justice issues. While there is no official change yet, the team has been known as the Washington Football Team since the start of the season.