The story about the Washington Redskins probably changing their name continues as the world waits for Dan Snyder to make it official. Head Coach Ron Rivera was hired on New Year’s Eve, and has been preaching changing the organization’s culture since Day 1. He has also been a part of the discussion to change the name, and he has spoken about it recently.
When he spoke with a Chicago radio station last week, he said the name change was a discussion for another time. On Thursday FedEx issued a statement calling for a name change, and Nike, PepsiCo, and Bank of America soon followed suit. On Friday the Redskins announced they would be doing a thorough review of the name. And reports soon followed that the name could be changed before the 2020 season starts.
Ron Rivera spoke to the Washington Post yesterday, and expanded on his position, offering some details of the behind the scenes discussions. He said he didn’t want to give his position on the Redskins name to a Chicago radio station, because that was a discussion to have locally.
“That’s meant for the D.C. area. That is our conversation.”
Rivera supports a name change, and has had discussions with Dan Snyder about it for more than a month. “If we get it done in time for the season, it would be awesome,” Rivera said Snyder started talking with NFL officials about the name change 2 1⁄2 weeks ago, and he’s ready for the change. Roger Goodell issued a statement after the Redskins announced their review supporting the change.
Rivera said he has discussed potential names with the owner, and they want to do it in a positive way. They want to make sure the name won’t be a joke.
“We came up with a couple of names — two of them I really like.”
Rivera said he believes the most important criteria for a new name is that it is respectful of Native American culture and traditions and also is a tribute to the military. The son of an Army officer, Rivera was raised on military bases; he noted that many Native Americans serve in the military, and he believes the new name should reflect that. And he indicated Snyder agrees with that.
Three of the Redskins minority owners, who own roughly 40 percent of the franchise, are attempting to sell their shares of the team...Reported wiith @lizclarketweet and @MarkMaske— Les Carpenter (@Lescarpenter) July 5, 2020
Today’s news is also pretty significant. When Fedex issued their statement asking the team to change their name, a big part of that story was Frederick Smith who is the founder and CEO of the company, and also a minority owner of the Redskins. Multiple reports came out today stating that Smith hasn’t been happy with the team’s name, and has been lobbying Dan Snyder for years to change it.
Robert Rothman and Dwight Schar are also minority owners of the team, and together with Smith own about 40% of the team. They are all reportedly trying to sell the stakes in the team. They have hired an investment banking firm to conduct the search for potential buyers, and are “not happy being a partner” of majority owner Daniel Snyder.
BREAKING: @Sportico Exclusive: Redskins minority owners tap Moag & Co. to sell their stakes: https://t.co/uA82V21rnN #sportsbiz #NFL pic.twitter.com/aaXKdLkeUB— Scott Soshnick (@soshnick) July 6, 2020
This has led to a lot of speculation. From Dan Snyder ultimately deciding to sell the team, to someone like Jeff Bezos buying out the minority owners and helping the team build their new stadium. It seems unlikely that Snyder would take the money and run now, but the new stadium will be a major expense on top of the initial cost of rebranding the team.