Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder has consistently and unabashedly shut down any calls about changing the name of his team. But money talks, and that’s the main reason why Snyder could potentially change his stance.
Amid growing financial pressure, Washington will conduct a “thorough review of the team’s name,” per a statement released Friday morning. That statement also noted the franchise has held discussions with the NFL in recent weeks.
“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,” Snyder said.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell also released a statement Friday, confirming the league has discussed the team’s name with Snyder.
“In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step,” Goodell said.
Native American leaders have been calling for a name change for several years, but there has been a renewed push this week with large sponsors voicing concerns.
Investors worth a collective $620 billion sent letters to FedEx, Nike and Pepsi asking the companies to end their sponsorships with Washington, according to AdWeek. FedEx, which holds naming rights to FedEx Field, then formally requested the team change its name, and Nike removed Redskins merchandise from its online store Thursday night.
Washington coach Ron Rivera, who days earlier told 670 The Score that conversations about a name change were “for another time,” said in the team statement the issue is “of personal importance” to him. He hopes to “continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our military.”
It is unclear what Rivera meant by honoring the military or if a new team name would include a military element.
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