Daniel Snyder Under The Arrow To Finally Change Redskins Name

Daniel Snyder Under The Arrow To Finally Change Redskins Name

Under review is the statement that the Washington Redskins pushed out the door on Friday as major financial pressure has finally been piled on Daniel Snyder to change the name of the Washington Redskins.

The backlash began when FedEx sent the following note to the Washington Redskins.

“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.” FedEx told CNN Business in a statement. FedEx who owns the naming rights for the stadium Washington plays in until 2025.

FedEx released its statement after 80 + groups and shareholders that invest in the company sent a letter to FedEx CEO Frederick Smith calling on it to “terminate its business and public relationships” with the franchise because of the name.

In the letter to Smith, the investors, who said they represent more than $620 billion in assets, noted that the word “Redskins” remains a “de-humanizing word characterizing people by skin color and a racial slur with hateful connotations.”

“Virtually every major national American Indian organization has denounced use of Indian and Native related images, names and symbols disparaging or offending American Indian peoples, with over 2,000 academic institutions eliminating ‘Indian’ sports references,” they wrote.

“In light of the Black Lives Matter movement that has focused the world’s attention on centuries of systemic racism, we are witnessing a fresh outpouring of opposition to the team name,” the investors wrote. “Therefore, it is time for FedEx to meet the magnitude of this moment, to make their opposition to the racist team name clear, and to take tangible and meaningful steps to exert pressure on the team to cease using it.”

Nike And Pepsi Pile On

It wasn’t just a letter to FedEx but additional letters were sent by investors to the CEOs of Nike, and Pepsi.

“We have been in conversations with the NFL and Washington management for a few weeks about this issue. We believe it is time for a change. We are pleased to see the steps the team announced today, and we look forward to continued partnership,” a PepsiCo spokesperson said in a statement Friday.

On Thursday night, Nike-branded Redskins merchandise vanished like the Baltimore Colts leaving town at midnight and is now unavailable on Nike’s online store.

Nike said it was “pleased” to see the team taking the first step toward change.

“We have been talking to the NFL and sharing our concerns regarding the name of the Washington team,” the company said in a statement on Friday.

Washington’s Under Review Statement

“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name. This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.

Dan Snyder, Owner of the Washington Redskins, stated, “This process 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.”

Ron Rivera, Head Coach of the Washington Redskins remarked, “This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military.”

We believe this review can and will be conducted with the best interest of all in mind.”

The Mighty Line

The bottom line is Daniel Snyder has been under fire to change the name since he purchased the team 21 years ago. It should be noted that while Washinton did issue an under review statement, this is not the first time they have done so. Past reviews conducted by Washinton have always resulted in the team keeping its name and while those reviews seemed to be nothing more than a public relations move to try to cool flames, this time around things seem different.

Look Snyder might be stubborn, but he is a wise businessman who is just like the majority of NFL owners who are guided by capitalistic principles. It appears that the financial pressure placed by other NFL owners, FedEx, Nike, Pepsi, and many more brands will ultimately force Snyder’s hand into doing the right thing and finally changing the name of his franchise.

With the current value of the franchise estimated at $3.4 billion dollars and all the unknown financial implications of COVID-19, Snyder’s franchise could actually benefit financially from making a name change. Simply put, a new name means new merchandise sales and would also garner the support he is looking for to build a new stadium on the location of RFK stadium inside Washington D.C.

For a franchise that seems to be avoiding the playoffs, maybe a new name and an updated image would go along away in helping the team on and off the field. As for Snyder, I’d say its basically a certainty that he will make some kind of name change announcement in the coming weeks because the financial pressure is going too much for him to overcome.

Beyond the dollars, this is one of those age-old discussions that should have never been an age-old discussion. As “the better late than never crowd” is getting ready to write their stories about the upcoming name change, the facts should not be distorted as it took 3 of the largest brands in the world to ban together to force change, the same change they could have forced at any giving point in the last 20 years.

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