After resisting changing the nickname for years, Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder might finally be bowing to pressure. Many consider Redskins to be offensive to Native Americans, and have lobbied Snyder to change the name.
Several sponsors have signaled they might end business relationships with the NFL team if the name is not changed. The biggest one was FedEx, who has paid for the naming rights to the stadium. A spokesman for the company told CNN Business in a statement they had made the request.
“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” the FedEx spokesman said.
Snyder said in a statement he and team officials had begun discussions earlier in the week about
“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” Snyder said. “This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.”
Support Growing for Change to Redskins Name
In addition to FedEx, PepsiCo said they supported Snyder changing the name. A spokesman did not confirm or deny the company would pull its sponsorship with the team if it wasn’t done.
“We believe it is time for a change,” the spokesman said. “We are pleased to see the steps the team announced today, and we look forward to continued partnership.”
Nike took it a step further. The shoe and apparel company, who is the NFL’s official supplier of uniforms, took down all Washington products from its online store.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said he supports changing the name, but has not directed Snyder to do so. He said in a statement that he has had “ongoing discussions with (Snyder) and we are supportive of this important step.”
What Could New Name Be?
Snyder has been adamant in the past about keeping the name of the team the Redskins. In an interview with USA Today in 2013 he said he would never change the name.
“It’s that simple,” Snyder said. “NEVER — you can use caps.”
It appears now that the owner of the team has reconsidered his position. He has already approved removing team founder George Preston Marshall’s name and monument from the stadium. Marshall was a longtime opponent of bringing African-American players into the NFL.
If Snyder bends to pressure from outside groups, what are some of the possibilities for new names? BetOnline put up a proposition bet regarding potential replacements for Redskins.
Odds to be New Name of Washington’s NFL Team
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins hasn’t taking a stand either way on Washington changing its name. He did post on Twitter, however, that if the team decides on a new nickname, he liked Redtails. That was a group of Tuskegee airmen, who were all African-American fighter pilots during World War II.