Washington Redskins Reviewing Name After Investors and Companies Call for Change (UPDATE)

Investors have pressured Nike, PepsiCo, and FedEx to end their partnership with the franchise, unless it changes its controversial team name.

redskins name logo investors demand change

LANDOVER, MD - OCTOBER 15: General view of the scoreboard displaying the Washington Redskins logo and name during a game against the San Francisco 49ers at FedEx Field on October 15, 2017 in Landover, Maryland. The Redskins won 26-24. (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***

redskins name logo investors demand change

UPDATED 7/3, 12:10 p.m. ET: The Washington Redskins will review their name after calls for it to be changed have been issued by investors and companies, the team said in a statement, per ESPN's Adam Schefter. 

"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," the team said.

And here it is: the Redskins are undergoing a thorough review of the team’s name.

And let’s be clear: There’s no review if there’s no change coming.

Redskins on way out. pic.twitter.com/ZrS3cCvhMg

UPDATED 7/2, 9:36 p.m. ET: Though Nike has yet to make a public statement on investors' demands, it appears the company has removed all Washington-branded merchandise from its online store.

As pointed out by ProFootballTalk, a drop down menu located on the left side of Nike website's features the names of every NFL franchise except for Washington. Furthermore, a search for "Redskins" or "Washington Redskins" do not yield any results on the site, although several Twitter users noted merch for the MLB's Cleveland Indians is still posted.

Nike has removed all Washington #Redskins merchandise from their website. pic.twitter.com/zZvdHlL3Ld

— Ari Meirov (@MySportsUpdate) July 3, 2020

UPDATED 7/2, 6:04 p.m. ET: FedEx has reportedly reached out to the Washington Redskins, asking the team to change its name.

JUST IN: @FedEx has asked the Washington @Redskins to change its name. Here is the statement:

“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.“

— 7News DC (@7NewsDC) July 2, 2020

See the original story below.

Three of the world's biggest corporations have been asked to terminate their partnerships with the Washington Redskins unless the team changes its controversial name.

According to AdWeek, 87 investment firms and shareholders sent three separate letters to Nike, PepsiCo, and FedEx last week, pressuring each of the companies to cut ties with the NFL franchise. The investors—reportedly worth a collective $620 billion—argued that the Redskins name perpetuated racism against Native Americans and a partnership with the team conflicted with each companies' commitment to inclusion, diversity, and racial equality.

"Many of us have raised this issue with Nike for years to little avail," investors reportedly wrote in a letter to the sportswear giant. "But in light of the Black Lives Matter movement that has focused the world’s attention on centuries of systemic racism, we are witnessing a fresh outpouring of opposition to the team name. Therefore, it is time for Nike to meet the magnitude of this moment, to make their opposition to the racist team name clear, and to take tangible and meaningful steps to exert pressure on the team to cease using it."

Nike has publicly supported racial justice movements through donations, brand campaigns, and a partnership with NFL free agent/activist Colin Kaepernick; however, the company also supplies the Redskins with uniforms, footwear, and official merch. FedEx owns the naming rights the team's stadium in Landover, Maryland, and Pepsi is the official soft drink of the NFL.

The National Congress of American Indians has condemned Washington's team name and mascot, stating "the use of racist imagery is an affront to basic human rights, undermines basic human dignity, and has a negative impact upon self-image, self-awareness, and self-esteem"; while the "redskins" term "derives from policies of colonization in which bounties were paid for the bloody skins... of American Indian and Alaska Native men."

Redskins owner Dan Snyder previously said he would never change the team name, but the ongoing protests against systemic racism has undoubtedly added more pressure to meet critics' demands.

"This is a broader movement now that’s happening that Indigenous peoples are part of," Carla Fredericks, director of First Peoples Worldwide and director of the University of Colorado Law School’s American Indian Law Clinic, told AdWeek. "Indigenous peoples were sort of left out of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s in many respects, because our conditions were so dire on reservations and our ability to engage publicly was very limited because of that. With social media now, obviously everything is very different."

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