Washington Redskins name ‘Likely’ to change amid mounting pressure

Under mounting pressure amid a worldwide anti-racism movement and with major sponsors such as FedEx threatening action, the Washington Redskins began a thorough review of their name.

According to one reliable source as reported by Mark Maske of the Washington Post, the team is “likely” to change its nickname.

“You know where this leads,” the source said. “They’re working on that process [of changing the name]. It will end with a new name. Dan [Snyder] has been listening to different people over the last number of weeks.”

This review is  a significant step toward moving on from what experts and advocates call a “dictionary-defined racial slur.”

ESPN’s Adam Schefter added the team’s nickname is “on [the] way out.”

Although Dan Snyder has owned the team since 1999, he has been opposed to changing the name. However, recent events sparking renewed opposition to the name seem to have softened his stance.

NFL commissioner Roger Goodell:

“In the last few weeks, we have had ongoing discussions with Dan, and we are supportive of this important step.”

Snyder issued a statement pointing to recent events around the US and feedback from the community:

“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,” Snyder said.

For decades, Native American advocacy groups have been vocal in their opposition to the name and a study released by UC Berkely this year showed that 67% of people surveyed who strongly identify as Native found the name offensive. With protests continuing throughout the US and the world related to the death of George Floyd in Minnesota and the treatment of black people by law enforcement major sponsors are speaking out.

FedEx, the title sponsor of the team’s stadium issued a statement Thursday:

“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.”

FedEx paid $205 million in 1999 for the naming rights to the stadium.

On Thursday night, Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store. Nike said Friday it has shared its concerns with the NFL over the name and is “pleased to see the team taking a first step towards change.”

PepsiCo, a sponsor since 2017, expressed a similar sentiment and said, “We believe it is time for a change.” Sponsor Bank of America said it has “encouraged the team to change the name” and welcomed the organization’s review.

Sources: Washington Post, Associated Press,

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