While civil rights protests continue across the country stemming from the Black Lives Matter movement working to dismantle systemic racism in the U.S, the Washington Redskins are being asked to reconsider their name and mascot — a battle that started in the 1960s and gained national attention in the 1990s. As this is not the first time the team has been asked to reconsider, FedEx, the team's corporate sponsor, has asked the team to review. As a result, the Redskins have taken to the requests and are now thoroughly reviewing a name and mascot change.
"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," a statement read according to ESPN. "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks. [...] We believe this review can and will be conducted with the best interest of all in mind."
Team owner Dan Snyder has felt the pressure from fans following the death of George Floyd. As a response, he noted that the process will take in all accounts that honors both the team's history and the community, saying: "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."
Not only are fans pushing for change, but so is the team's corporate sponsor FedEx. "We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name," the statement read. However, the team's two additional sponsors also put in the same request. Washington D.C. Mayor, Muriel Bowser, feels a name-change is past due. "I think it's past time for the team to deal with what offends so many people, and this is a great franchise with a great history that's beloved in Washington, and it deserves a name that reflects the affection that we've built for the team." She added, "It's an obstacle for us locally but is also an obstacle for the federal government who leases the land to us."
On Thursday evening, Nike took down all of their Redskins gear from their online store. "There is no reason not to immediately announce that the team is changing the mascot," Ray Halbritter from the group Change the Mascot said, adding that if they were to review such change, it inevitably would happen. Despite efforts by both the Oneida Tribe of Indians in 2014 and Native American Leaders requests to change the name prior to 2020, all have been declined. "The deeply offensive and racist name of Washington's NFL team must go now," Halbritter added.