The Washington Redskins will undergo a “thorough review” of their name following pressure from sponsors, fans and players. Complaints that the name is an offensive slur against Native Americans are hardly new, but a national reckoning on racism after the death of George Floyd has escalated calls for change. Perhaps more tellingly, the name was becoming a financial liability. Major sponsor FedEx asked the team to change its name on Thursday and Redskins apparel disappeared from Nike’s online store after investors at 87 firms worth hundreds of billions of dollars asked Nike, FedEx, and PepsiCo to end their relationship with the NFL franchise.
Team owner Daniel Snyder had vowed in 2013 to never change the name. But, in a Friday statement announcing the review, he said: “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.”