The Washington Redskins have announced that they will retire the ‘Redskins’ nickname and logo after a “thorough review” following increased pressure from anti-racism groups.
The NFL franchise confirmed that they were considering a name change at the start of this month after calls from the public and sponsors, including FedEx, who are the chief naming rights partner for the team’s home stadium. Nike also appeared to drop Redskins apparel from their website.
Native American groups have long argued that both the name of the team and the main logo are racist, with support for a change increasing alongside the Black Lives Matter movement following the death of George Floyd.
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A statement released by the franchise 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.”
“(Owner) Dan Snyder and Coach (Ron) 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.”
Last month, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell admitted that the league has been at fault for not listening to its players’ fight for racial equality and will no longer punish those who protest during the national anthem.
“We, the National Football League, admit we were wrong for not listening to NFL players earlier and encourage all to speak out and peacefully protest. We, the National Football League, believe Black Lives Matter. I personally protest with you and want to be part of the much needed change in this country.
“Without black players, there would be no National Football League. And the protests around the country are emblematic of the centuries of silence, inequality and oppression of black players, coaches, fans and staff. We are listening. I am listening, and I will be reaching out to players who have raised their voices and others on how we can improve and go forward for a better and more united NFL family.”