Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera addressed recent calls for the team to change its name as national reckoning over racism has pressured the franchise to make a move.
Rivera, who took over the job in Washington in January after being previously fired by the Carolina Panthers, was asked during an interview with WSCR on Monday about his stance on changing the Redskins name over concerns that it discriminates against Native Americans.
"It's all about the moment and the timing," Rivera said. "But I'm just somebody that's from a different era when football wasn't such a big part of the political scene. That's one of the tough things, too, is I've always wanted to keep that separate.”
He continued: “People have wanted me to get in politics while I'm coaching and I keep telling them, 'It's not for me to get up there and influence people.' I have my beliefs, I know what I think, I support the movements, support the players. I believe in what they're doing. There are certain elements to certain things. It's all about the timing and the best time to discuss those things."
Rivera, who spent nine seasons with the Panthers before he was fired in December, has said he plans to support his players who intend to kneel during the national anthem to protest police brutality and social injustices.
Originally founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves, the Redskins changed their name several years later after relocating to Washington.
There is no indication that owner Dan Snyder intends to change the team name.