Reuters/ Los Angeles
Little more than a week after the Washington Redskins announced they would conduct a “thorough review” of the team’s nickname, reports surfaced Saturday that a name change is indeed “imminent.”
Yahoo’s Charles Robinson reported the news first Saturday morning and Pro Football Talk’s Mike Florio confirmed the news. Speaking on the “Saturday Sports Brunch” radio show in Dallas on Saturday, Robinson said the name change will come “in the next 24-48 hours,” adding “the NFL is starting to take steps to tell everybody who has Washington’s nickname on its platform to start scrubbing it, start taking it off, which means something’s coming.”
Robinson did not know the new team name.
Citing a source with knowledge of the situation, Florio reported that team owner Daniel Snyder is now committed to changing the name before the start of the season. The report also cited the mounting pressure Snyder has faced in recent weeks to change the name.
Though numerous efforts to get the club to change the nickname and logo — with many Native American groups calling the name racist — pressure has ramped up in July, with numerous investment firms and corporate shareholders with companies such as Nike, PepsiCo and FedEx imploring those companies to cut advertising ties with the team.
That led Nike to pull all Redskins merchandise off its website, making Washington the only NFL franchise not listed on the site’s NFL index.
Last week, FedEx asked the team to change the name. FedEx signed a 27-year, $205mn deal in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Md., where the club plays its home games.
On Wednesday, Amazon pulled Redskins merchandise from its site while the team considers the name change. Two days earlier, The Washington Post reported that three minority owners of the team hired an investment banking firm to find buyers for their shares of the club.
The franchise began using the Redskins nickname in 1933, when it was based in Boston and previously called the Braves. Team owner George Preston Marshall moved the club to Washington in 1937.
A statue of Marshall was removed from the Redskins’ former Washington venue, RFK Stadium, on June 19 in the wake of protests seeking racial equality following the death of George Floyd. Under Marshall’s leadership, the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, adding their first Black players in 1962.
Washington is scheduled to open the season at home against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 13.
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