RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe sidestepped the debate over the Washington Redskins name Friday, preferring instead to focus on the economic benefits of having the team in his state.
“It is not up to a governor to tell a private business what to do with their business,” McAuliffe said during a visit to a Redskins training camp practice. “I am about growing our economy. I’m about diversifying our economy. … The voters elected me to get jobs, and this team here is helping me get jobs.”
Asked if he understands why some people are offended by the name, he answered: “Sure. I come at this as the governor of the Commonwealth of Virginia. I am the chief jobs creation officer; that is my job. My job is to grow the economy and I have a team here that is growing our economy.”
McAuliffe cited the thousands of fans who have been attending practice daily during camp, which runs through mid-August. The Redskins also have their headquarters and main training facility in Northern Virginia.
The Redskins name has been the subject of a sustained campaign by those who consider it to be a racial slur.
McAuliffe said he plans to host the team at the Executive Mansion on Tuesday night.
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