NFL’s Washington Redskins To Drop Name After Pressure From Activists
American football team Washington Redskins are going to change the club’s name after being urged to do so by activists and sponsors.
The team name has long been seen as offensive and denounced by Native American groups as an ethnic slur, and prominent sponsors such as FedEx and Nike have called for it to be changed.
Earlier this month, the team announced they were conducting a ‘thorough review’ of the name, however the team announced today on Twitter its decision to retire the Redskins name and logo.
The statement read:
On July 3rd, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team’s name. 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 completition of this review.
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 statement, shared July 3, read:
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. This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.
This was followed by comments from Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, and Ron Rivera, the team’s head coach.
Snyder, who purchased the club in 1999, said:
This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from out alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field.
Rivera added the issue of the club’s name was of ‘personal importance’ to him, and he looks forward to working with Snyder to ‘make sure we can continue the mission of honour and supporting Native Americans and our Military’.
Prior to the announcement, FedEx threatened to pull its sponsorship of the club unless it changed its name.
According to The Washington Post, the multinational delivery service said the team’s name may harm the brand reputation, which was founded on a ‘people-first philosophy’, and doesn’t fall into its efforts to create a ‘more inclusive society’.
The likes of Amazon, Walmart and Nike also pulled the club’s merchandise from its websites, further urging the football team to change its name.
The change has long been campaigned for by the likes of Native American groups, something Snyder has continuously ignored. In 2013, the American businessman told USA Today that he would ‘never’ change the name.
Seven years later, however, it seems Snyder has caved, and it’s reported the club’s new name will be announced today, July 13, with Warriors, Red Wolves and Redtails ranking most popular. The team officially ‘retired’ its previous name yesterday.
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