Ron Rivera says Washington could change name before National Football League season

Monday, 06 Jul, 2020

Team owner Daniel Snyder has in the past remained steadfast on keeping the name, calling it a 'badge of honor, ' despite Native American leaders across North America demanding a change.

FedEx paid $205 million to the team in 1998 in a deal that runs until 2025 for naming rights on the stadium, which is located in Landover, Maryland.

Nike did not immediately make a public statement, but the sporting goods giant removed Redskins merchandise from its online store on Thursday.

"It's not a matter of if the name changes but when", a source told the Post.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement Friday that the league is "supportive" of the decision to review the name and said he's had "ongoing discussions" with team owner Dan Snyder in recent weeks.

In the event that Washington does change their team name, the franchise's uniforms could look different for the 2020 season.

Last week, FedEx, Nike and Pepsico all received letters from a group of 87 investment firms that hold more than $620m in assets, requesting an end to business with the Redskins.

Washington Redskins attire for sale at a store in Virginia
Washington Redskins football attire is no longer available on Nike's website

Corporate America says it is time to change the name. Now, with mounting pressure from sponsors and advertisers in the wake of a nationwide movement against racial and social injustice, Washington appears set to adopt a new nickname, though Snyder reportedly remains resistant to the idea. It's way past the time for the Washington football team to get a new identity, and this should surely put other franchises like the Cleveland Indians on notice that they'll probably have to do the same.

The team was first named the Redskins back in 1933 before the franchise was moved from Boston to Washington four years later.

"We have been in conversations with @NFL and Washington management for a few weeks about this issue", the company posted.

For decades, Native American advocacy groups have been vocal in their opposition to the name and a study released by UC Berkely this year showed that 67% of people surveyed who strongly identify as Native found the name offensive.

A day later, FedEx formally requested the Redskins to change their name.

He's been trotting out Rivera as the face of the franchise; in a freakish statement about a possible name change earlier this week, Rivera said that it was important to "continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military".