UPDATE: Washington undergoing ‘thorough review’ of NFL team’s name

NFL

FILE – In this Dec. 9, 2018, file photo, FedEx Field is less than full during the second half of an NFL football game between the Washington Redskins and the New York Giants in Landover, Md. The title sponsor of the Redskins’ stadium wants them to change their name. FedEx said in a statement Thursday, July 2, 2020, “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.“ (AP Photo/Mark Tenally, File)

FRIDAY 7/3/2020 10:14 a.m.

WASHINGTON (WFRV) – Officials with Washington’s NFL team have announced “the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name” after sponsor FedEx requested the team name be changed.

FedEx paid the team $205 million in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland. In addition, FedEx CEO Frederik Smith is a minority owner.

The statement, seen below, includes a statement for owner Dan Snyder:

“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.”

Head coach Ron Rivera also provided a statement, saying “This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military.”

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell responded to the announcement, saying, “In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with [Dan Snyder] and we are supportive of this important step.”

Investors this week wrote to FedEx, PepsiCo, and other sponsors asking them to request a change. FedEx is believed to be the first to take action.

On Thursday night, Nike appeared to remove all of the team’s gear from its online store. The other 31 NFL teams were listed and a search for the team came up with no results. Nike did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.

Original Story: Sponsor FedEx asks Washington NFL team to change their name

FRIDAY 7/3/2020 8:03 a.m.

WASHINGTON (AP) — The title sponsor of Washington’s stadium wants the NFL team to change its name.

“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,“ FedEx said in a statement Thursday.

The company paid the team $205 million in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.

In addition to the stadium name and sponsorship agreement, FedEx CEO Frederik Smith is a minority owner. Majority owner Daniel Snyder has shown no indications he’ll change the name since buying the team in 1999.

Amid the national debate over race, pressure has been mounting on the organization to abandon the name called a “dictionary-defined racial slur” by experts and advocates.

Investors this week wrote to FedEx, PepsiCo, and other sponsors asking them to request a change. FedEx is believed to be the first to take action.

On Thursday night, Nike appeared to remove all of the team’s gear from its online store. The other 31 NFL teams were listed and a search for the team came up with no results. Nike did not immediately respond to an email message seeking comment.

Asked about Snyder changing the name, a spokesman said recently the team had no comment. The team last week removed the name of racist founder George Preston Marshall from its Ring of Fame at FedEx Field, and a monument to him was removed from the site of the old RFK Stadium.

Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser also said the name was an “obstacle” to the team returning to the District. The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, and it is still talking to Washington, Virginia and Maryland about building a new stadium.

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