The Washington NFL franchise recently announced its name and logo would be retired, following years of pressure to do so

By Gabrielle Chung and Tim McGovern
July 16, 2020 12:02 AM
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In the wake of the Washington NFL franchise's decision to change its name, one Virginia man is stepping up to offer his help after spending years trademarking potential new monikers for the team.

Martin McCaulay, a 61-year old actuary, spent years filing trademark claims for possible team names, the Washington Post reported. While he holds dozens of trademark claims that may hinder the Washington NFL franchise from landing on a new name, McCaulay said that he wants to help.

A letter shared on Twitter by Florida attorney Darren Heitner to the team's owner, Dan Snyder, said that McCaulay "has no intention to stand in the way of the Washington NFL team."

McCaulay is instead hoping to “to open the door to discussions so that, if the franchise is at all concerned about Mr. McCaulay’s trademark registrations or pending applications, the team is aware that there is nothing to fear," the letter said.

“Mr. McCaulay will gladly do whatever is in his power to clear a path for the Washington NFL team to rebrand itself without the need to incur substantial legal fees,” Heitner wrote.

The Washington Redskins NFL football team logo
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The letter indicates that McCaulay has registered trademarks for the Washington Red-Tailed Hawks, Washington Americans and Washington Football Club and has pending applications for Washington Red Wolves, Washington Redtails, Washington Monuments, Washington Veterans, Washington Renegades and Washington Warriors.

While it's unclear if the franchise desires any of the trademarked names, McCaulay tweeted on Tuesday, "I want them to change the name and am embarrassed if I did anything that slows that down. I thought if I hoarded all the good names that would keep someone else who might be a pain in the neck from getting them."

A rep for the Washington NFL team did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

After mounting pressure for the NFL team to change its name — which has a history as a racial slur against Native Americans — the franchise announced it will do so on Monday.

"On July 3, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team's name," the statement read. "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," it continued. "[Owner] 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 news comes after it was reported that sponsor FedEx alerted the Washington, D.C.-based team in a two-page letter that it will pull its name from stadium signage following the 2020 NFL season if the team did not agree to a name change, the Washington Post reported.

The company reportedly signed a stadium naming rights deal with the Redskins in 1999 worth $205 million; if FedEx does remove its signage, it’ll be six years before the deal is set to expire, the Post noted.

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In addition, 87 investment firms worth a collective $620 million issued letters to FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo this month requesting that they cut ties with the Redskins until the team changed its name, according to Adweek. Seemingly in response, Nike removed all Redskins merchandise from its online store.

The team then told PEOPLE in a statement on July 3 that it was launching “a thorough review of the team’s name,” a move that formalized initial discussions with the league that had occurred in recent weeks.

The Redskins have used the team name since 1933, and Snyder told USA Today in 2013 that he would “never change the name” despite efforts, including some in court, to do so over the years.

The renewed call for a name change initially emerged in light of social justice and police brutality protests that began in late May and have continued on into July following the death of George Floyd while in police custody.