In a sign that the NFL’s Washington franchise has committed itself to a new name, the league has asked partners to begin scrubbing “Redskins” from their platforms in anticipation of a change that could be coming as soon as Monday.
The move completes a swift about-face from Washington owner Dan Snyder, who previously vowed that the nickname would continue on as it has since 1933, when it was created by former owner George Preston Marshall. This despite the name coming under increased scrutiny in recent years as being racist and demeaning toward Native Americans. Those grievances have been longstanding, but gained significant momentum over the last month as the death of George Floyd sparked nationwide protests over racial inequality in the country.
The turning point appeared to come on July 2, when it was revealed that a group of investment firms in multibillion dollar corporations such as FedEx, Nike, PepsiCo and others had joined together to ask the companies to cut their business ties with Washington unless the franchise changed its nickname. Collectively, the groups and investors seeking to pressure the name change held a net worth of over $620 billion. Soon after that letter pressuring the companies, FedEx released a statement that it had requested a name change and Nike pulled all Washington merchandise from its online store.