FedEx, the corporate sponsor of the Washington Redskins, is very serious about the team changing its name. According to the Washington Post, FedEx sent a letter to Washington to inform them it will remove its signing from the stadium after the NFL's 2020 season, which will be six years before their deal expires. The letter, which is two pages long, was written by the general counsel of FedEx and sent it to the general counsel of Washington Football Inc., the corporate name of the Redskins. It was sent to Washington the same day FedEx released a statement about contacting the team about changing its name.
The Washington Post states the letter contains details on why FedEx wants Washington to change the name, which includes harming the company's brand reputation and being inconsistent "with its commitment to a more inclusive society." If Washington doesn't change the team name, it would cost them as FedEx is scheduled to pay Washington $45 million after the 2020 season. FedEx can get out of the deal "for cause," meaning the company wouldn't have the pay the balance after 2020.
"We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name," the statement from FedEx read. The good news for FedEx is the team is the process of changing the team name. It's been reported that "Warriors" is the leading candidate and the change could happen before the start of the 2020 season. It's also been reported Washington will remove the Native American image from the logo and the team will keep its burgundy and gold colors.
"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," the team said in a statement. "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks."
The name "Redskins" has been part of Washington since the team moved the area in 1937. Name changes in the NFL aren't common but it has happened in the last 30 years. The last time an NFL team changed it names was the Tennessee Titans in 1999. The Titans moved to Nashville in 1997 but were called Oilers for two years. The team was originally from Houston.