Amid mounting criticism from external figures and a key sponsor asking for change, the Washington Redskins said in a statement Friday morning the franchise will undergo an evaluation of its team name.
“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community,” the team said, “the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.” Washington said the review “formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.” NFL players, teams and the league itself have shifted tone on racial justice advocacy since George Floyd was killed May 25 in the custody of Minneapolis police.
“In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step,” NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement. As of Thursday night, however, two people familiar with the NFL’s actions on the matter that no dialogue between the league and team had taken place recently on the franchise’s name. The people spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to disclose details on the issue.
The organization did not provide details on a time frame for the review, but when asked about the chances of Snyder sticking with Redskins, two different people familiar with the owner’s stance, “It’s over.” The people spoke on condition of anonymity because no decision had been formally made. Thursday, FedEx—title sponsor of Washington’s stadium in Landover, Maryland—formally asked the 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 emailed. FedEx chairman Frederick Smith holds a minority stake in Washington’s ownership group.