NFL Washington Redskins ‘Racist’ Name Change Pressured by Sponsors

According to multiple sources and reports by a number of established media outlets, the Washington Redskins will drop their name today, July 13. A new name will be picked at a later, unspecified date due to trademark complications.

Washington Redskins to Officially Drop Name This Monday

Amid the Black Lives Matter protests in the wake of the George Floyd killing, which plummeted the country in riots, the sports world has been shaken in its own way. The movement has led to one of the oldest National Football League’s franchises, the Washington Redskins, to decide and change their name to comply with calls for a “less racist” identity and under pressure of prominent corporate sponsors such as Nike, PepsiCo, Bank of America and FedEx, all pushing for the change.

The franchise’s official name is expected to be officially dropped today, Monday, July 13, but picking a new name would take a while to select and float as there are some trademark issues to address as well, Sports Business Daily reported.

According to the Redskins’ coach Ron Rivera, who spoke to The Washington Post, the management staff was working with the team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, to choose a new name that pays due respect to both the military and Native Americans.

Pressure from Sponsors Leads to the Decision for Name Change

The rumors about the Redskins dropping their name have been substantiated by USA Today, ESPN, Washington Time as well as The Washington Post and Sports Business Journal on Sunday, July 12. FedEx, the main sponsor of the team’s stadium in Landover, Maryland, has been among the most vociferous partners to urge the team to consider a change of their name.

Meanwhile, Nike has been quick to suspend the sales of Redskins-branded merchandise on their online stores.

There has been a push from various Native American leaders who have also urged NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell to pressure the Washington Redskins to forego their current name and choose a new one.

The Associated Press shared an excerpt from the letter which stated that Native Americans “expect the NFL to engage in a robust, meaningful reconciliation process with Native American movement leaders, tribes, and organizations to repair the decades of emotional violence and other serious harms this racist team name has caused to Native Peoples.”

Amazon has also followed Nike’s example and suspended the sale of Redskins’ merchandise from its digital stores globally. Another team to have come under fire is the Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians who have promised to re-examine their name as well.

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