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Washington NFL team says it will retire Redskins name, logo

The Washington Redskins announced Monday that they will be retiring their nickname and logo after completing a thorough review that began on July 3.

“Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review,” the team said in a statement.

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“Dan Snyder and Coach [Ron] 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.”

It had been widely expected that Washington would change its name, and one source said Saturday night that an announcement of a new name would come soon.

Sports Business Daily reported that the announcement of a new name has been delayed because trademark issues are pending.

“The NFL and Dan Snyder have finally made the right call and Change the Mascot commends them for it,” Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and head of the Change the Mascot campaign, said in a statement Monday. “This is a good decision for the country — not just Native peoples — since it closes a painful chapter of denigration and disrespect toward Native Americans and other people of color. Future generations of Native youth will no longer be subjected to this offensive and harmful slur every Sunday during football season.

“We have made clear from the start that this movement was never about political correctness, but seeking to prevent unnecessary harm to our youth, since we know from social scientists the many harmful effects this mascot has had on Native Americans’ self-image. Today marks the start of a new chapter for the NFL and the Washington franchise, beginning a new legacy that can be more inclusive for fans of all backgrounds.”

Last week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the franchise would not use any Native American imagery. Washington’s logo of an American Indian chief was designed by a Native American in 1971.

Another source told ESPN that the plan, as of now, is for the franchise to retain its use of burgundy and gold colors. Rivera had said the team wanted to include the military in its new name.

Carla Fredericks, the director of the American Indian Law Clinic and director of First Peoples Worldwide, said she did not want to see the team pivot to a name such as the Warriors. She said it would be considered a tie-in to Native Americans.

“Mostly because we have this really unfortunate history and one thing the Washington team has to think about is not just a change, but also making it right, and that [name] doesn’t seem like it’s headed in that direction.

“There’s no other racial group in America that has endured what we’ve endured as Native Americans, that has had every Sunday when we turn on the TV and see what we’ve had to see and experience what we’ve had to experience, perpetuating that seems out of step with the broader discussion of racial justice in the current moment.”

Asked about the Golden State Warriors and whether their nickname was OK or somehow different because of the lack of Native American logos, Fredericks said: “We’re just taking a very hard line on all of this, that anything that relates to Native American people or is evocative of Native American people has no place in professional sports. The hard line is important because of the lack of understanding about Native American people in our communities, so the clarity would go a long way toward better behavior by sports teams and fans.

“This is the moment for the Washington team to step into a leadership role, and it could be really positive. If the Washington team says we get it now, we messed up and we’re going to change and we’ll change in such a way where we don’t impact Native American people in anything that happens, that would send a very clear message in professional sports, and even scholastic sports, that we’re in a new era. … As I understand it, franchise owners are a pretty headstrong bunch and certainly empowered on their own to do what they think is right. It’ll be an interesting couple of months in every respect.”

The franchise said on July 3 that it would undergo a thorough review of its 87-year-old name, which is viewed as derogatory. By that point, multiple sources said, team owner Snyder already was engaged in talks with the league about a possible new name. Multiple sources said the name would change, but there was nothing official from the team.

Snyder for years had resisted consideration to change the name — telling USA Today in 2013 to “put it in all caps” that he would never make such a move. Some who have worked for Snyder said they believed he would rather sell the team than use a new name. While it’s uncertain what the next name will be, it is one that a source close to the situation said Snyder was excited about.

Snyder had owned the rights in the Washington area to any possible expansion by the Arena Football League, and he was expected to name that team the Warriors, even attempting to trademark the name — a quest he had abandoned.

Snyder and the franchise were under more pressure to change Washington’s nickname after protests against social injustice and police brutality began following the May death of George Floyd in Minnesota. Within a few weeks of Floyd’s death, multiple sources said Snyder had been discussing the name for several weeks with the league.

During that time, a letter signed by 87 investors and shareholders with a total worth of $620 billion was sent to sponsors FedEx, PepsiCo and Nike, asking them to stop doing business with the team unless its name was changed. When that was reported in an Adweek.com story on July 1, multiple people — including current and former employees — echoed the same thought: It’s over. Most, if not all, were unaware that a possible change was already in the works.

“The next immediate step is, while this morning’s announcement that the name and the logo will change — that’s critical — what are they going to use?” said Jonas Kron, senior vice president and director of shareholder advocacy for Trillium Asset Management. “There has been communication from a large group of Native American leaders that made it clear it needs to be a complete and total break from any Native American imagery or name, and we’re making sure that the sponsors are aware of that perspective. For the sponsors, if it’s not a clean break, then they’ll have ongoing reputational risks. For the sponsors, it’s in their best interest to have the reputational risk completely go away.”

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15 Comments on this post.
  • Peter Fuller
    15 July 2020 at 3:47 pm
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    Should be called Washington Alligators since they play in the Swamp

  • Jody Parker
    15 July 2020 at 3:48 pm
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    They are now the black skins

  • Linda Hellier
    15 July 2020 at 3:53 pm
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    Reduculous

  • Ricker
    15 July 2020 at 4:11 pm
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    And another one bites the dust. The corporate bullies are at it again. It is all about rewriting history and changing this country into a socialist, communist, Marxist country. We have become a nation of bullies. If you don’t do what they say we will withhold your sponsor money. It’s time for the good citizens to rise up. If that means protesting against defunding police and against àll the leftist Demoncrap in this great country. You can’t let cities be torn apart and expect us to pay for it.

  • Joseph
    15 July 2020 at 4:23 pm
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    It’s really sad that these idiots are caving in. They can re brand themselves as the Raccoons but then the blacks would start crying and moaning.

  • DRLJR
    15 July 2020 at 4:24 pm
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    So they are buying into the “Everything is offensive” mantra. The name was chosen to honor a coach who was a Native American back in the 1920/1930s from the history I have read. Remember, the term “Red Skin” was not offensive until recently. It was a description of skin color that many Native Americans had. Just like the word “negro” is simply a description of skin color used to describe certain people. It is a Portuguese word that means “black”. The “Progressives” are working to eliminate anything that honors different ethnic groups. Look at the recent move that resulted in the removal of the Native American woman’s photo from the butter package.

  • roseann
    15 July 2020 at 4:25 pm
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    Call the team THE PINK PANTIES

  • Tom
    15 July 2020 at 4:28 pm
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    And what will the Washington Pussies do next? Change their uniforms into dresses?

  • Ralph
    15 July 2020 at 5:47 pm
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    Why don’t the Redskins just spool it up, tell all their “ball players” to get a real job (HA! I can’t wait to see those negroes working) and the owners can then live off their savings. HA!

    I don’t have a non-racist bone in my body. Everyone has to earn my respect. I don’t “give” any respect to anyone ‘just cuz’. So that generally puts negroes way out past “worthless”.

    And just because some nig-nog can catch a ball and run fast does not make him worth millions of dollars.

  • Dave
    15 July 2020 at 6:33 pm
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    They change their name to the foreskins after all the dick heads in D.C..

  • Snake Eyes
    15 July 2020 at 7:51 pm
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    Well Halleluah, now all colors of people everywhere should be feeling pretty damn happy. For some reason I don’t feel any different, wonder what color I am? I always thought everyone was pink on the inside, with blue blood (until oxygen hits it), my education was obviously faulty.

  • Russell
    16 July 2020 at 1:01 am
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    Name them the Washington Rednecks! We would love to have a team named after us. Or as a second choice Washington Foreskins!!!

  • Everett Hoffman Jr
    16 July 2020 at 4:02 pm
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    I always thought it was an honor to have a team named after me.

  • Rick
    17 July 2020 at 2:10 am
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    Washington’s logo of an American Indian chief was designed by a Native American in 1971.

    Carla Fredericks, the director of the American Indian Law Clinic and director of First Peoples Worldwide, said she did not want to see the team pivot to a name such as the Warriors. She said it would be considered a tie-in to Native Americans.

    These sponsors and special interest groups are trying to erase history, good and bad. The Native Americans were/are warriors. They are a proud people. Why would the ‘Indian Law Clinic’ find the team logo offensive? It was designed by a Native American. Change the name (Warriors). Keep the logo.

  • florida bob
    17 July 2020 at 1:59 pm
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    When you threaten to take money away from a sports franchise, don’t they call that extortion ? I’m sure the Redskins owners did not want to change the name but had to because of the pussy ass sponsors.

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