WASHINGTON — The Washington Redskins issued a statement saying that they will “undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.”
“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,” Majority owner Daniel Snyder said in the the statement.
Snyder had previously shown no indication he would change the name since buying the team in 1999, but was quoted in the release.
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said that he supports “this step.”
The title sponsor of the Washington Redskins’ stadium, FedEx asked the NFL team to change its name in a statement Thursday.
The company paid the team $205 million in 1999 for the naming rights to FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland.
Amid the national debate over race, pressure has been mounting on the organization to abandon the name called a “dictionary-defined racial slur” by experts and advocates.
Investors this week wrote to FedEx, PepsiCo and other sponsors asking them to request a change. FedEx is believed to be the first to take action.
Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store Thursday evening according to The Associated Press. The other 31 NFL teams were listed and a search for “Redskins” came up with no results.
The team last week removed the name of racist founder George Preston Marshall from its Ring of Fame at FedEx Field, and a monument to him was removed from the site of the old RFK Stadium.
Washington, D.C., mayor Muriel Bowser also said the name was an “obstacle” to the team returning to the District. The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, and it is still talking to Washington, Virginia and Maryland about building a new stadium.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
Cox Media Group