Redskins announce they will undergo review of team's name

Ben Krimmel
July 03, 2020 - 11:12 am

After a key sponsor requested the team's name change, the Washington Redskins announced Friday they will "undergo a thorough review" of the football team's name.

"In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name," the statement read. "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks."

Owner Daniel Snyder added, "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field.”

The statement is likely the first step in a process that sees Snyder changing the name of the NFL team. A source close to the Redskins' owner told The Washington Post's Mark Maske, "You know where this leads. They’re working on that process. It will end with a new name."

Maske said the source added: "I don't want to say 100 percent. It’s very likely headed in that direction."

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement the league supports the move by the Redskins: "In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step."

Head coach Ron Rivera, who was hired earlier this year said in the team's statement, “This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military.” 

The Redskins closed the statement by writing, "We believe this review can and will be conducted with the best interest of all in mind."

The National Congress of American Indians said they were encouraged by the team's decision.

“We are encouraged by the Washington NFL team’s announcement that it will conduct a ‘thorough review’ of the team’s name and mascot," NCAI President Fawn Sharp said. "This moment has been 87 years in the making, and we have reached this moment thanks to decades of tireless efforts by tribal leaders, advocates, citizens, and partners to educate America about the origins and meaning of the R-word."

The NCAI, one of the largest and oldest national groups representing Native Americans, said they are looking forward to "commencing discussions with the league and team about how they will change the team’s name and mascot."

The move comes a day after FedEx, the holder of the Redskins' football stadium's naming-rights, requested the team to change the name. And Nike appeared to remove Redskins gear from its site.

NFL reporter Mike Freeman reports the pressure on Snyder to change the team's name could be too great to resist.

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