washington Redskins

washington redskins racist name

The offensiveness of the¬†Washington Redskins’¬†team name has been discussed and debated for many years at this point, but through it all the team’s ownership — specifically Dan Snyder — has resisted the idea of changing it.
The topic of racial injustice has been in the front of the nation’s conscience since George Floyd’s murder in May, and as a result the Redskins have again found themselves in the crosshairs of social reform. This week has brought immense mounting pressure on the team to make a change and we may soon hit a boiling point thanks to¬†some major developments reported yesterday.
  • Investors are pushing corporations like¬†Nike, FedEx¬†and¬†PepsiCo¬†to cut their ties to Washington if the organization doesn’t change the team name
  • 87 investment firms worth a combined a $620 billion wrote to the team asking for a switch
  • Nike¬†has pulled all official Redskins team gear from their website
  • Several federal officials said Thursday that Snyder would have to change the team’s name if he wants to relocate the franchise to the site of¬†RFK Stadium
  • The RFK campus, which is owned by the federal government, is currently for sale and Snyder is interested in moving the team back to D.C. The government could force Snyder to change the name before agreeing to sell him the land
  • D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio:¬†“There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, D.C., without first changing the team name”
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FedEx being part of the corporate blitz is noteworthy because they own the naming rights to Washington’s current stadium. FedEx’s CEO,¬†Frederick Smith, is also part owner of the team.
So, what happens now? Well, Snyder has a decision to make, and he may be backed into a corner here. There’s more pressure on him than ever, and if he wants to move the team and secure a new stadium in D.C. he may have to relent on his defenses of the name — especially with corporate and political forces at his neck.
Though Snyder has shown a complete unwillingness to move away from the moniker, the club has taken steps to wash themselves of a problematic past. Earlier this summer, they agreed to remove George Preston Marshall’s name from all official team material and from the organization’s Ring of Honor. Marshall was the team’s founding owner but his legacy is stained with a clear history of racism and he was a staunch opponent of desegregation.
In other social movements on the NFL front, the league is¬†planning to play the Black national anthem “Lift Ev’ry Voice and Sing”¬†before the “Star Spangled Banner” at every Week 1 game this season. The league is also considering memorializing victims of police brutality with helmet decals or jersey patches as well.

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