After pressure from sponsors, D.C. officials, minority team investors and naming-rights partner FedEx, the Washington Redskins name and branding will be reviewed by team ownership and management, with changes expected.
Yesterday we reported that D.C. and federal officials were unwilling to approve a new Redskins stadium at the RFK Stadium site unless the name, with its racist overtones, was not changed. After that story was posted, several team sponsors, including Nike and PepsiCo., went public with their objections to the Redskins name and branding.
The final straw may have come when FedEx Chairman CEO Fred Smith 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.
And although owner Dan Snyder has resisted efforts for a team rebranding, calling the Redskins name an honorific, the pressure looks like it’s grown the point where a name change is inevitable. The team issued the following statement this morning:
In the end, this is important: it is rare that a review of this sort doesn’t lead to name change, especially with the NFL now involved.
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