FedEx Requests Redskins to Change Name

Chris Russell

FedEx announced on Wednesday that it had asked the NFL's Washington franchise to change its "Redskins" moniker. FedEx is one of the three massive sponsors and partners of the team that was challenged by investors and stockholders to pressure the team into changing its name. 

Report: Investors Urge Sponsors to Cut Ties with Washington Football Team

Investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion asked team sponsors Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to end their relationship with Washington's football team over its "Redskins" name, according to Mary Emily O'Hara of Adweek. Per O'Hara's report, the brands each received a letter signed by 87 investors urging them to cut ties unless the team's controversial name was changed.

“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name," FedEx said in a statement.

Hot Read: Politicians say no to 'Redskins' in D.C. and RFK. 

It's an especially significant development because Fred Smith, the chairman and CEO of FedEx, is a part of Dan Snyder's ownership group. The company also owns naming rights to the team stadium, FedExField. 

Frederick Smith

Frederick W. Smith is chairman, president and chief executive officer of FedEx Corporation, a $38-billion global transportation, business services and logistics company. Smith is responsible for providing strategic direction for all FedEx Corporation operating companies, including FedEx Services, FedEx Express, FedEx Ground and FedEx Freight.

The terms of FedEx's contract with the team and Smith's exact stake in the group is unknown, but unless Washington was planning on ending the relationship with FedEx and/or Smith, it could be a major turning point in the longstanding battle over the team's name.

Later on Wednesday, Nike appeared to remove all Washington team gear from its site.

Screenshot on Nike's website showing no search results for Washington Redskins team gear

By no means is Dan Snyder obligated to make a change. He may choose to draw a hard line distancing himself from FedEx as a stadium name sponsor and possibly even from Fred Smith's ownership stake. But this is nonetheless a noteworthy development and a sign of how attitudes have changed since the killing of George Floyd by police in May.

The team has not made a statement as of 9:00 pm ET. 

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Chris Russell is the Publisher of & Sports Illustrated's Washington Redskins channel. He can be heard on 106.7 The FAN in the Washington D.C. area and world-wide on Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.

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Comments (3)
No. 1-3
Albert Gray
Albert Gray

Donate all equipment to Indian Nations, free or Chicago Public Schools & Parks.

Albert Gray
Albert Gray

Chock-tau Indian: Bobcats or Cougars; also Owls as suggested names.

Albert Gray
Albert Gray

696490 Suggestion Bobcats or Cougars