FedEx Requests Redskins to Change Name
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.
“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name," FedEx said in a statement.
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.
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.
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 RedskinsReport.com & 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 Radio.com. Chris also hosts the "Locked on Redskins" Podcast and can be read via subscription to Warpath Magazine. You can e-mail Chris at russellmania09@Gmail.com or follow him on Twitter at @Russellmania621.