NFL Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder will officially announce the retirement of the team name on Monday morning and reveal a new team name after being prompted and pressured by leading sponsors.
As the country remains in upheaval and is sensitive to anything considered even remotely offensive on the subject of race, a letter signed by a group of investors and shareholders with a total of $620 billion was sent to Nike, Pepsi, Bank of America, and FedEx to urge them to stop doing business with the team unless there was change to the name because it was objectionable towards Native Americans. Big retailers such as Amazon, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Target, and Wal-Mart have removed Redskins apparel until the change is made.
On July 2 FedEx President Fred Smith publicly demanded the name change and while Snyder had previously opposed the idea of ever retiring the name and asserted that the name was meant to honor Native Americans, Snyder under pressure released a team statement the following day that the franchise would undergo a thorough review of the 87-year old name.
On a statement posted on the Washington Redskins Twitter account, Snyder was quoted, “This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history 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 on and off the field.”
While the same burgundy and gold will remain as the official team colors, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the franchise would no longer use any Native American imagery despite that the original logo was designed by a Native American in 1971.