Jeb Bush Backs Redskins Name After Taking $100,000 From Team Owner

Jeb Bush is a man of strong opinions, forged in the intellectual fire of pure reason. Pick any contentious topic of the day, and he'll be happy to share his thoughts. Say, for instance, the Washington Redskins, a team whose name most Native Americans and a whole lot of other people feel is a blatant ethnic slur that shouldn't really be on a professional franchise. 

Bush happily threw his two cents into the debate on Sirius XM radio yesterday, telling a host he firmly believes the team should not change its name in the face of protests. “I don’t think it should change it... It’s a sport, for crying out loud. It’s a football team," he groused. "Washington has a huge fan base — I’m missing something here, I guess.”

Actually, he did miss one thing in his blistering-hot take on the 'Skins: namely, that team owner Dan Snyder — the fiercest defender of the Redskins name — just happened to have given Bush's campaign $100,000.

Bush's campaign hasn't responded to emails about whether that six-figure cash transfusion helped color his views on Snyder's franchise. But critics have been lambasting the ex-governor all morning over the move, including Change the Mascot, an effort led by the Oneida Indian Tribe to remove offensive Native American symbols from sports:

“What is surprising is that in promoting the use of this slur, the governor somehow believes he speaks for Native Americans and can assert that Native American people do not find this slur offensive," the group says. "He clearly is missing something. What is even more appalling is the governor’s declaration that because he personally doesn’t find this slur offensive, that makes it acceptable. This should be a very simple open-and-shut issue in the 2016 campaign: No presidential candidate should be promoting this racial slur against Native Americans.”

Surely, this was just a weird coincidence, right? It's not like Bush's ideology would line right up with all of his top donors, would it? 

Well, Mother Jones took a hard look at the biggest donors to Bush's super PAC and found some other eerie overlaps, such as the millions he's received from T. Boone Pickens and other oil barons as he keeps the GOP hard line on climate change and green energy. 

Anyone want to wager where Bush might land on the hottest take of all, LeBron James' move to Cleveland last year? Heat owner Micky Arison, just FYI, has donated heartily to Bush's Right to Rise PAC.
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Tim Elfrink is a former investigative reporter and managing editor for Miami New Times. He has won the George Polk Award and was a finalist for the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting.
Contact: Tim Elfrink