The NFL team in Washington D.C. will finally drop the word “Redskins” from its name, reversing decades of refusal from team ownership amid criticism dating back to the 1960s.
The team confirmed the name and logo change Monday morning. The press release 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 completion 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 term “Redskin” is considered by many to be a racial slur that disparages Native Americans.
The team formally began the renaming process on July 3, following a request from its largest corporate sponsor, FedEx, whose name adorns its stadium. FedEx added that if the team did not change its name, it would remove its signage from the stadium after this coming season, according to the Washington Post. Along with FedEx, a group of investors worth more than $600 billion wrote letters to Nike and PepsiCo to encourage them to pressure the team to change its name. Nike removed all “Redskins” merchandise from its online store.
Criticism of the team’s nickname has swelled for years; the franchise and its owner Daniel Snyder have resisted changing the name however up until this point. In the middle of the 2013 season, Bob Costas said the name was both an insult and a slur during halftime of the team’s “Sunday Night Football” game against the Dallas Cowboys. That following season, multiple TV broadcasters and reporters who covered the NFL stopped using the name. In the last few years, however, the outcry over the team’s name had receded from public view.
That outcry returned in a big way over the last few months, following the protests against systemic racism that were sparked by the Memorial Day killing of George Floyd by a Minneapolis police officer. The incident and the nationwide movement that has followed has forced a re-examination of cultural sensitivities.
The franchise began as the Boston Braves in 1932, before changing its name to the Redskins in 1933. It moved to the nation’s capital in 1937.
See the team announcement below: