The Washington Redskins just released a statement about undergoing a thorough review of the team’s controversial name. There have been a series of events recently that have changed the likelihood of a name change that looked like it would NEVER happen under owner Dan Snyder. He has ignored all calls for the name of the Redskins to change from protesters and activists, but now major sponsors are getting involved which affects the team’s bottom line.
There has been a big shift in public opinion following the murder of George Floyd by police in Minnesota, ongoing Black Lives Matters protests, and the call to remove/replace racist monuments/symbols/characters. The George Preston Marshall memorial statue was recently removed from RFK Stadium by the city. The Redskins also removed Marshall from the Ring of Fame, History Wall, and their website. The team is still looking for a site for their new stadium, but there have been reports that they won’t be able to return to the RFK site if they don’t change their name.
This week there was a report that investors of PepsiCo, Nike, and FedEx asked the companies to end their relationships with the team unless the name was changed. Yesterday FedEx asked the Redskins to change the team’s name. FedEx’s founder and CEO Frederick Smith is also a minority owner of the team, making this a pretty big deal. Shortly after this, Nike removed all Redskins gear from there website, and searches for the teams name came up empty.
Dan Snyder could be seeing the end to this battle and pulling the cord before the national spotlight gets even brighter, and more money disappears. He has been a vocal opponent to any talk of changing the name, so this review is a major policy shift. This story is not going away.
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. This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.
Dan Snyder, Owner of the Washington Redskins, stated, “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, Head Coach of the Washington Redskins remarked, “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.
And here it is: the Redskins are undergoing a thorough review of the team’s name.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 3, 2020
And let’s be clear: There’s no review if there’s no change coming.
Redskins on way out. pic.twitter.com/ZrS3cCvhMg
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell also released this statement:
New from @nflcommish pic.twitter.com/mH4s7knM2T— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 3, 2020