WASHINGTON D.C. (CelebrityAccess) — The NFL franchise Washington Redskins announced that they plan to change their name and distinctive Indian head logo in the face of pressure from sponsors and fans.
So far, the team has not announced a new name or logo but the organization said that team owner Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are “working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years.”
The change will be the first for an NFL team since the late 1990s when the Tennessee Oilers changed their name to the Tennessee Titans two seasons after relocating the team from Houston.
The Redskins adopted the name in 1933 after playing their inaugural year as the Boston Braves. The team relocated to Washington in 1937 and has been based their since.
The team’s name has been a point of controversy for years, particularly with Native Americans, who note, quite correctly, that the name is an ethnic slur.
In recent weeks, as the Black Lives Matter social justice movement accelerated, following the death of Floyd George at the hands of Milwaukee Police, over a dozen Native leaders and organizations wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell renweing calls for a name change for the team.
“The NFL and Dan Snyder, we have to commend them on making the right call to change the name,” Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter leader of the “Change the Mascot” campaign told the Associated Press. “Dan Snyder won today because now he has a legacy that will be different from the racial slur that was the team name. I know that’s not an easy thing to do, but it was the right thing to do.”
Pressure also came from the team’s sponsors, including FedEx, which is a naming rights partner for the Redskins stadium in Landover, Maryland. The naming rights deal, worth a reported $205 million, expires in 2027.