Washington Redskins’ preferred new name is tied up in a trademark fight
Washington won’t be the “Redskins” after Monday, according to multiple reports, as the NFL team associated with the nation’s capital will bow to mounting public pressure including from its biggest sponsors and drop the name.
Sports Business Journal first reported the Monday announcement plans, which were later confirmed by the Washington Post, WSJ and USA Today among others. SBJ and the Post both reported a new name wouldn’t be unveiled Monday because the team’s preferred replacement is involved in a trademark fight.
The global reckoning on race and equality issues since the death of George Floyd had renewed focus on the name and dark-skinned logo used by the team. While principal owner Dan Snyder had long resisted a change, this time the team’s sponsors made clear it had to go.
FedEx Corp., which holds the naming rights to the team’s stadium in Landover, Maryland, told the Redskins to make a change. Retailers including Walmart Inc., Target Corp., Amazon.com Inc. and Nike Inc. dropped Washington Redskins merchandise, casting out a team name that contains what many consider to be a racial slur against Native Americans. The National Football League said it would support a change.
The organization in a July 3 statement said it would conduct a review of the moniker. That review, according to the reports, is now complete.
Late Sunday, “Hail to the Redskins” trended on Twitter, with several fans who both supported and opposed the move saying they wanted to sing the team’s fight song one last time.