The Washington Redskins officially announce Monday morning that they will change their nickname, but no new name will be revealed yet, a source confirmed Sunday night.
It had been widely expected that Washington would change its name, and a source said Saturday night that a new name announcement would be coming soon.
Sports Business Daily, which first reported Monday’s official announcement, reported that the new name would not be announced yet because trademark issues are pending.
Last week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the franchise would not use any Native American images. Washington’s logo for an Indian chief had been designed by an Indian in 1971.
Another source told ESPN that the plan is currently to retain the franchise̵
The franchise said on July 3 that it would undergo a thorough review of its 87-year-old name, which some considered abusive. At that point, multiple sources said, team owner Dan Snyder was already engaged in talks with the league about a possible new name. Several sources said the name would change, but it was not official from the team.
Snyder had for years resisted any consideration of changing his name – told USA Today 2013 to “put it in all caps” that he would never make such a move. Some who have worked for Snyder said they thought he would rather sell the team than use a new name. Although it is uncertain what the next name will be, it is a source close to the situation that Snyder was excited about.
Snyder had owned the rights in the Washington area for any expansion of the Arena Football League, and he was expected to name that team the Warriors, even trying to name it – a mission he had abandoned.
Snyder and the franchise were under more pressure to change Washington’s nickname after protests against social injustice began after George Floyd’s death in May in Minnesota. Within weeks of Floyd’s death, several sources said Snyder had been discussing the name for several weeks with the league.
During that time, a letter signed by 87 investors and shareholders with a total value of $ 620 billion was sent to sponsors FedEx, PepsiCo and Nike, asking them to stop doing business with the team unless the name was changed. When it was reported in an Adweek.com story on July 1, several people – including current and former employees – again shared the same thoughts: It’s over. Most, if not all, were unaware that a possible change was already in the works.
On July 2, FedEx issued a statement saying it had told the team that it wanted the name changed. The other sponsors later released statements that say the same thing. Amazon said it would stop selling Redskins merchandise. Walmart and Target said it would stop selling their gear in stores. And according to The Washington Post, FedEx said it would remove its signage from the arena unless the name was changed for the 2021 season.
FedEx signed a 27-year agreement for $ 205 million in 1998. The company’s owner and CEO, Fred Smith, has been a minority owner of the franchise since 2003. But according to multiple reports, he and other minority investors, Dwight Schar and Bob Rothman, want to sell their efforts.
Snyder, his sister, Michele, and his mother, Arlette, own 60% of the franchise.