Washington Redskins Announce Team Will Change Its Name, Working to Develop New One
The news comes after it was reported that FedEx alerted the 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 Redskins are no more.
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.
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.