Since the murder of George Floyd in the custody of police officers in Minnesota in May, it ignited a wide range of anger and condemnation. Many people of all different class, ethnicity, religion, and walk of life, heartily detested the brutality against the black people leading to protests around the world.
Once again, questions about the team name were brought back into the spotlight after many years to have the “Redskins” nickname removed. The nickname is seen to be both racist and offensive, yet team owner Dan Snyder continues to be reluctant about changing the name.
Over the years, Snyder has come out strongly in support of the name dating way back in 2013 in an interview where he had it clear that a name change was not an option. And ever since, he has insisted that people respect the history of the team for the name represents honor, respect, pride, and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in years to come.
In 2016, Snyder was quick to respond to a survey done by the Washington Post of how Native Americans felt about the name, and the results showed 9-in-10 were not offended. He proudly affirmed to carry the Redskins name. And for a few years, the controversy surrounding the moniker disappeared.
In recent days, the Washington Redskins has been under a lot of pressure to change their name. And if that’s not all earlier this week, 87 investors and shareholders reportedly worth a combined $620 Billion planned on putting corporate pressure on the Redskins to change the name by informing significant corporations like Pepsi, Nike, and FedEx they would pull capital from their financial positions.
Call it coincidence or not because on Thursday, one of Washington’s biggest sponsors FedEx joined in on the push formally asking the organization to change the team name. It owns the naming rights to Washington’s stadium in Landover, Maryland, and pays Washington around $8M per year and runs through 2025. Besides, FedEx CEO Fred Smith owns a minority stake in the Redskins.
Furthermore, several politicians and Washington, D.C officials have stated that the RFK site up for sale will not consider the Washington Redskins if the team name remains what it is. The team also needs a new name if it wants to move into a new stadium in D.C. Something Snyder wants to when his current lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027.
A Native American group called for players to boycott the season in support of changing the name last weekend.
The pressure is on for team owner Snyder is accepting to change the name as we wait on Nike and PepsiCo to make a decision. If both decide to follow in suit of changing the name, then we see no delays or hiccups of the renaming of the Redskins, but we will have to see what unfolds in the coming weeks.
Rachel Lott is a Reporter for Chroniclex After graduating from Cuyahoga Community College, Rachel got an internship at USA Evening and worked as a Reporter and Producer. Rachel has also worked as a Reporter for WKYC TV and Fox News Channel. Rachel Covers International Developments.