The Washington Redskins are currently under review for a name change due to the recent events throughout the country, ignited by the death of George Floyd.
“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” the organization revealed in an official statement. “This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.”
The announcement comes after FedEx asked the team to change its name, as the company holds naming rights for the football team’s stadium, and its CEO Frederick Smith owns a minority stake in the team.
Nike, the NFL’s official uniform supplier, also asked the team to change its name. As a way to encourage the organization to do so, the company removed all Redskin’s merchandise from their official website. This move came after investors sent letters to them as well as FedEx urging them to cut ties with the team unless the name is changed.
In response, Redskins owner #DanSnyder addressed the potential name change, stating, “This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field.”
Ron Rivera, Redskins head coach, added: “This issue is of personal importance to me, and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military.”
“We believe this review can and will be conducted with the best interest of all in mind,” the press release concluded.
While this isn’t the first time people have wanted the team to change its name and Snyder has long stated that he wouldn’t, recent conversations regarding racism and protests fighting for justice leave the owner no choice to at least address it and review it.
According to sports reporter Josina Anderson, the team said internally that “no other owner has contributed more to the Native American community monetarily.”