Washington retiring Redskins name and logo, team says
WASHINGTON (FOX 5 DC) - The Washington Redskins will officially retire the team's name and logo, according to a statement by the team.
The team announced the decision in a Tweet on Monday.
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WASHINGTON REDSKINS TEAM STATEMENT:
"On July 3rd, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team's name. The review has begun in earnest. As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward.
Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review.
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."
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The change comes less than two weeks after owner Dan Snyder launched an organizational review amid pressure from sponsors to make a change.
Native American experts and advocates have long protested the name they call a "dictionary-defined racial slur." The name dates to 1933 when the team was still based in Boston.
Protests against the name predate Snyder buying the team in 1999, and, until now, he had shown no willingness to consider a change. Strong words from sponsors -- including a company run by a minority stakeholder of the team -- changed the equation.
FedEx earlier this month became the first sponsor to announce it had asked the organization to change the name, particularly important because CEO Frederick Smith owns part of the team. FedEx also paid $205 million for the long-term naming rights to the team's stadium in Landover, Maryland.
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FedEx Field, home of the Washington Redskins NFL football team, stands on July 7, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. After receiving recent pressure from sponsors and retailers, the NFL franchise is considering a name change to replace Redskins. The term "r
The lease at FedEx Field expires in 2027, and dropping the name keeps open various possibilities in Maryland, Virginia and Washington for the team's new stadium and headquarters. District of Columbia mayor Muriel Bowser has said the name was an "obstacle" to Snyder building on the old RFK Stadium site, which is believed to be his preference.
Washington recently started cutting ties with racist founder George Preston Marshall, removing his name from the Ring of Fame and renaming the lower bowl at FedEx Field for the team's first Black player, late Hall of Famer Bobby Mitchell. Marshall, who renamed the Boston Braves the Redskins in 1933 and moved it to D.C. four years later, was a segregationist and the last NFL owner to integrate their team. The current logo shows the profile of a red-faced Native American with feathers in his hair.
Long removed from the glory days of winning Super Bowl titles in the 1982, 1987 and 1991 seasons under coach Joe Gibbs, Washington has just five playoff appearances in 21 years and no postseason victories since 2005. The team has lacked a nationally marketable player since Robert Griffin III's short-lived stardom, and the 2020 schedule features zero prime-time games for a franchise that used to be a draw.
Re-branding with a new name and logo -- and perhaps the same burgundy and gold colors -- coupled with turning football operations over to Rivera could be a boon for Snyder on and off the field. Even if a segment of the fan base opposes the change in the name of tradition, winning would more than make up for those losses.
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The Navajo Nation released the following statement on Monday evening, saying, in part:
The Associated Press contributed to this report