Most reports suggest the Washington Redskins, amid mounting pressure from fans and corporate sponsors, will indeed change their name. But when?
FedEx, which holds naming rights to the team’s home stadium in Landover, Maryland (FedEx Field), is hoping to fast-track that transition. According to Liz Clarke of the Washington Post, FedEx notified the Redskins in a letter earlier this month that the delivery giant will remove all its stadium signage after 2020 if the team doesn’t have a new name in place by then. FedEx’s $205-million naming rights deal with Washington began in 1999 and runs through 2026.
For years, owner Dan Synder has been steadfast in maintaining the Redskins’ brand, refusing to budge despite the name’s racist connotations. But it appears the dam has finally broken with FedEx, Nike, Amazon, PepsiCo, Bank of America and countless others imploring the team to reverse course. NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and head coach Ron Rivera have also lobbied Washington to drop its tone-deaf moniker.
It’s embarrassing it took this much prying for the team to finally come to its senses, but thanks to influential sponsors like FedEx flexing their corporate muscle, Snyder and the Redskins’ inevitable day of reckoning is finally here.