The Washington Redskins plan to announce Monday that they will retire their controversial team nickname, multiple outlets reported Sunday night.
One source told Sports Business Journal that the team “felt it was important to remove any doubts as to the future of the name.” The report indicated that a new nickname would not be immediately announced due to pending trademark issues.
Sunday night’s story further backed Saturday reporting from Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio and Yahoo’s Charles Robinson, who each talked about an “imminent” name change. Robinson said Saturday the change would come “in the next 24-48 hours,” adding “the NFL is starting to take steps to tell everybody who has Washington’s nickname on its platform to start scrubbing it, start taking it off, which means something’s coming.”
Team owner Daniel Snyder has been under mounting pressure to change the team nickname, logo and mascot, with many Native American groups calling the name racist. Pressure ramped up this month, with companies such as Nike, PepsiCo, Bank of America and FedEx threatening to cut advertising ties with the team.
FedEx asked team to change name
On July 2, FedEx asked the team to change the name. FedEx signed a 27-year, $205 million US deal in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Md., where the club plays its home games. A day later, the team announced it was conducting a “thorough review” of the team’s name.
Sports Business Journal reported Sunday that the club has finished that review.
Nike pulled all Redskins merchandise off its website, making Washington the only NFL franchise not listed on the site’s NFL index.
Last Wednesday, Amazon pulled Redskins merchandise from its site. Two days earlier, The Washington Post reported that three minority owners of the team hired an investment banking firm to find buyers for their shares of the club.
Snyder, in 2013, said he would “never” change the name.
The franchise began using the Redskins nickname in 1933, when it was based in Boston and previously called the Braves. Team owner George Preston Marshall moved the club to Washington in 1937.
A statue of Marshall was removed from the Redskins’ former Washington venue, RFK Stadium, on June 19 in the wake of protests seeking racial equality following the death of George Floyd. Under Marshall’s leadership, the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, adding their first Black players in 1962.
Washington is scheduled to open the season at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on Sept. 13.