After years of pressure, the Washington Redskins have announced they will conduct a “thorough review” of the team name.
In the past week, activists have stepped up their pressure against the team – and politicians and sponsors have joined. On Thursday, Washington, D.C. officials said the team could not relocate within the city – they currently play at FedEx Field in Maryland – unless they change their name and logo, The Daily Wire’s Emily Zanotti reported:
“I call on [Redskins owner] Dan Snyder once again to face that reality since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital,” Holmes said, per Fox News. “He has got a problem he can’t get around — and he particularly can’t get around it today, after the George Floyd killing.”
D.C.’s Deputy Mayor agreed: “There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, D.C., without first changing the team name.”
Then Nike, which has adhered to social justice demands in recent years (and lost $790 million, leading to layoffs) announced it would no longer sell Redskins gear on their website, The Daily Wire’s Ryan Saavedra reported.
In addition to Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo also announced they would end their business partnerships with the team unless it changed its name. On Friday, the team announced it would “undergo a thorough review” of its name, WTOP reported.
Dan Snyder, who owns the team, has adamantly opposed the name change for years, but now says the review “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.”
Several name suggestions have been floating around social media over the past week, including the Washington Warriors, Washington Redtails, and Washington Redhawks. The Redtails refer to the name of the Tuskegee airmen, a group of all-black fighter pilots who operated during World War II.
Some online have joked that since there are so many former Ohio State University players on the team, it should be renamed the Washington Buckeyes. Team Quarterback Dwayne Haskins, Jr – who attended OSU – said his favorite name suggestion so far was the Redtails.
His statement came in a Twitter response to Bleacher Report’s Matt Miller making the Buckeyes suggestion. Haskins quote-tweeted Miller and added “I like the redtails.”
Haskins added, however, that he liked the name “if we have to change the name,” taking no position one way or the other on the issue.
Sponsors, including Bank of America, Inova, PepsiCo, and FedEx have all expressed support for the team’s announcement to review its name.
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