The Washington Redskins name will be replaced, with team owner Dan Snyder and NFL officials working on a replacement that should be announced shortly.
That the racially offensive name could be replaced by the beginning of the 2020 NFL season is truly amazing. The Redskins moniker had survived years of criticism and calls for change thanks to Snyder’s insistence that the name would never be changed, but broad societal trends–accelerated in recent months after the death of George Floyd at the hand of Minneapolis police officers–forced Snyder’s hand. Those trends included calls from major team sponsors like Nike and PepsiCo and emphasized by FedEx CEO Fred Smith, who issued a simple statement on the subject: “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.” In addition to FedEx paying the team $8 million a year for FedEx Field naming rights, Smith is a minority investor in the team.
Here’s the statement from the team:
On July 3rd, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team’s name. That review has begun in earnest. As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward.
Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review.
Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years.
The announcement of a new name should take several weeks as the team and the NFL work through trademark issues.
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