The Washington Redskins are exploring a nickname change amid political, social and financial pressure, and they reportedly will no longer have Native American imagery in their logo and name.
ESPN’s Adam Schefter shared the news and says it came about in talks surrounding a new name for the team.
In their discussions about a potential new name, Washington is planning to have no Native American imagery, per a league source.
— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 8, 2020
Washington has faced pressure for years regarding their team nickname and logo, but team owner Daniel Snyder has resisted making any changes. However, with companies, including their home stadium sponsor FedEx, calling for a reconsideration of the name, Snyder may finally be making a change.
Last week, the team said it would be conducting a thorough review of the nickname. A report said it was “likely” they would make a change.
The team originated as the Boston Braves in 1932, was named the Boston Redskins in 1933, and has kept that nickname ever since moving to Washington in 1937.
The Washington Redskins appear to be in the process of changing their team nickname, but if they weren’t already, the latest blow may push them closer to doing so.
Amazon said Wednesday they would stop selling all Washington merchandise on its website, and also sent a notice to affiliated third-party sellers to remove any flagged items within 48 hours.
“With the announcement from the Washington team and the NFL, we are removing products with the team’s name and logo from our stores,” Amazon told sellers in a notice obtained by Annie Palmer of CNBC. “Failure to properly close or delete all restricted product listings from your inventory may result in deactivation.”
The writing is on the wall for Washington now, if it wasn’t already. Nike removed all Washington merchandise from its store, and stadium sponsor FedEx also publicly asked Washington to change the name. With that much public pressure being put on the franchise, it’s no wonder that reports indicate a name change is likely.
The Washington Redskins have faced pressure for years to change the name of their franchise, and apparently some of that has come from within.
Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk reported on Sunday that Redskins minority partner Fred Smith, who founded FedEx, has been trying to get majority owner Daniel Snyder to change the team’s name for “years.” Smith’s frustration with Snyder’s refusal to change the name is reportedly one of the reasons he and fellow minority owner Dwight Schar have been trying to sell their stakes in the Redskins, though they have not yet found buyers.
Florio speculates that Smith and Schar may want Snyder to feel pressure to sell his controlling stake in the Redskins, which could make it easier for them to sell their stakes or entice them to remain with the ownership group.
FedEx, which holds the naming rights to Washington’s stadium, released a statement earlier in the week announcing that they have asked Snyder to change the team’s name. The Redskins then said on Friday that they are conducting a “thorough review” of the name, and reports have indicated a change is coming.
Dwayne Haskins is the future of the Washington Redskins, so it is only fitting that he is providing input on what the team’s name should be going forward.
In the wake of the team announcing this week that they would conduct “a thorough review” of their nickname, the Redskins quarterback offered his suggestion on Twitter. Haskins said that he liked the “Redtails.”
I like the redtails https://t.co/DLSWsUcldp
— Dwayne Haskins, Jr (@dh_simba7) July 3, 2020
For context, the Red Tails was an unofficial nickname for the Tuskegee Airmen, a group of all-black fighter pilots who served in the United States Armed Forces during World War II. They were also recently the focus of the 2012 war film “Red Tails” starring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has long resisted calls to change the team’s nickname, which is deemed by some to be offensive to Native Americans. Snyder now appears to be relenting however amid the current social climate as well as the likelihood that he will be unable to secure funding for a new stadium without changing the name.
Haskins’ suggestion would work on a couple of different levels in terms of keeping the name fairly similar-sounding to the old one as well as honoring an important and often overlooked part of our nation’s history with the new one.
The Washington Redskins announced on Friday that they will be giving consideration to changing the name of their franchise, and that may be more than just a stall tactic to appease their critics.
Ian Rapoport of NFL Media said he was told by several sources that the Redskins are “likely” to change their name.
My understanding of the #Redskins situation, based on conversations with several sources: A name change is likely.
It would truly be a monumental decision. It is time. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell’s statement was supportive, as well.
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 3, 2020
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder said in a statement that the Redskins will conduct an internal review to allow the team to “take into account not only the proud tradition 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 both on and off the field.” NFL commissioner Roger Goodell then released a statement of his own saying he is “supportive of this important step.”
— Brian McCarthy (@NFLprguy) July 3, 2020
People have been calling for years for the Redskins to change their name, but Snyder has always resisted those efforts. He may have changed his opinion when FedEx, which holds the naming rights to the team’s stadium, announced this week that they have asked Snyder to change the name. There has also been talk that Snyder will have trouble getting approval to build a new stadium in the District of Columbia if he doesn’t get rid of the Redskins name.
Many places have banned the use of the Redskins name and logo, but that did not seem to bother Snyder in the past. However, a name change is now starting to seem inevitable.
The Washington Redskins have been pressured for years to change the name of their franchise, and owner Daniel Snyder appears to be giving strong consideration to doing just that.
On Friday, the Redskins announced in a press release that they are undergoing “a thorough review of the team’s name.”
Potentially big news: The #Redskins have been having internal discussions about their team name and now will conduct a formal, thorough review. Full statement, including quotes from owner Dan Snyder, on a possible name change: pic.twitter.com/49mpesZGs9
— Ian Rapoport (@RapSheet) July 3, 2020
Snyder said the review will allow the team to “take into account not only the proud tradition 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 both on and off the field.” Head coach Ron Rivera added that he considers the issue one of personal importance to him and is looking forward to working with Snyder on the topic.
Snyder is looking to build a new stadium in the District of Columbia, and there has been talk that key government figures will not sign off on the project unless the name of the franchise is changed. Nike also removed gear with the word “Redskins” on it from the team’s official online store this week, and FedEx, which currently holds the naming rights to the team’s stadium, released a statement this week saying they have asked Snyder to change the name.
Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has been very eager to build a new stadium in the District of Columbia. He has also steadfastly fought off criticism from those who want to see the team’s nickname changed. It appears that he may no longer be able to do both.
Snyder has sought to build a stadium at the former site of RFK Stadium, which would move the team out of Maryland and back into the District of Columbia itself. To do so, he would need to get approval from the federal government, as it owns the land in question.
There’s one problem: several key figures who would need to approve such a project said they would not do so as long as the team continues to use the Redskins name.
“I call on Dan Snyder once again to face that reality, since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital,” D.C.’s non-voting congresswoman Eleanor Holes Norton told Liz Clarke of the Washington Post. “He has got a problem he can’t get around — and he particularly can’t get around it today, after the George Floyd killing.”
D.C. deputy mayor John Falcicchio told the Post that there is “no viable path” to stadium approval unless the name is changed. That sentiment was also echoed by Rep. Raul Grijalva, who chairs the House Natural Resources Committee that oversees control the land. Grijalva called the Redskins name “racist” and added that the project was a “non-starter” unless Snyder chooses to “step into this century” and find a new nickname.
The Redskins name has long been viewed by many as racist against Native Americans. Some schools and institutions have even banned the display of the name and logo. With the issue of racism in the United States becoming a major topic nationwide in recent weeks, the discussion about the nickname has returned to prominence. Snyder has long resisted efforts to change it and has made no secret about his feelings. Now, though, it appears that he may have to choose between the nickname and the location of the new stadium that he clearly wants.