Matthew McConaughey Hopes the Redskins Don’t Change Team Name; Defends Rom-Com Career

The Oscar winner has been a fan of the NFL team since he was a 4-year-old boy growing up in Texas

Last Updated: October 21, 2014 @ 6:54 AM

“Interstellar” star Matthew McConaughey doesn’t want the Washington Redskins to give into public pressure and change the controversial name that has been deemed racist, but thinks the organization eventually will.

“It’s not going to hurt me. It’s just … I love the emblem,” McConaughey told GQ in an interview for the November issue. “I dig it. It gives me a little fire and some oomph. But now that it’s in the court of public opinion, it’s going to change. I wish it wouldn’t, but it will.”

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A group of Native Americans had been pushing for the professional football team representing Washington, D.C. to change its name for years before the public began to hear their plea. The movement began to gain steam in 2013, with journalists, politicians and media personalities giving it their stamp of approval.

Most recently, “South Park” parodied owner Dan Snyder’s refusal to care that the name is considered a racial slur to some, and the Washington Post’s editorial page banned the “R-word.”  “The Daily Show” also aired a segment that took the team’s fans to task for supporting a name Jon Stewart called racist.

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“What interests me is how quickly it got pushed into the social consciousness,” McConaughey said. “We were all fine with it since the 1930s, and all of a sudden we go, ‘No, gotta change it?’ It seems like when the first levee breaks, everybody gets on board.”

I know a lot of Native Americans don’t have a problem with it,” McConaughey continued. “But they’re not going to say, ‘No, we really want the name.’ That’s not how they’re going to use their pulpit. It’s like my feeling about gun control: “I get it. You have the right to have guns. But look, let’s forget that right. Let’s forget the pleasure you get safely on your range, because it’s in the wrong hands in other places.”

Also read: ‘Normal Heart’ Star Mark Ruffalo on Elliot Rodger Shootings: Gun Control Debate Is ‘Completely Outrageous’

McConaughey took home the Best Actor in a Leading Role trophy at the Oscars earlier this year after receiving critical acclaim for his performance as an HIV patient and activist in “Dallas Buyers Club.” He’ll be seen next month in Christopher Nolan‘s science fiction film “Interstellar.”

Last decade, McConaughey was best known as a leading man in romantic comedies including “The Wedding Planner,” “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days” and “Fool’s Gold.” Despite the critical reception, he “absolutely” proud of his work.

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“These things aren’t easy. What’s hard is to make them look easy,” McConaughey said. “Those kinds of movies are what they are. They get pooh-poohed by critics. They get pooh-poohed by actors themselves. And in a way I get it, but in other ways it’s completely unfair. There’s a buoyancy you need to make them work. I believe I gave them buoyancy.”

McConaughey is particularly proud of fighting to give his characters “balls.”

“What’s a romantic comedy? Boy meets girl. They get together. Something happens. Girl takes off. Boy chases girl. They get back together. The end,” McConaughey said. “A lot of times the male is somewhat emasculated, meaning he has to crawl back and say, “I’m nothing without you. If you don’t take me back, I’m nothing.” And I was always like, “What girl wants that guy?”

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McConaughey added: “I’ve got no problem saying, ‘I’m sorry. You want to give this another shot?’ But I’ve got to come back with some integrity–even if it’s on a moped with a veil on my head. Look, I’m happy if you think I ‘cruised through’ those. I did my work.”