The team announced that they'll have an "internal review" of the longtime nickname in a statement that was released on July 3. In the statement that was released Monday, Washington said, "today, we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review."
The Redskins name has been seen as offensive to Native Americans and the fight for the team to change its name has gone on for many years. The social awakening and unrest caused by the death of George Floyd has resulted in the renewed energy to eradicate the team nickname.
The Washington football team has felt the pressure of changing their team name in recent weeks. FedEx, who is the team's stadium sponsor, formally asked the team to change their name on July 2. Nike pulled the team's merchandise from their online store, and Amazon was also going to pull all Redskins merchandise from their site. Unlike Nike, Amazon still has team merchandise available to purchase on their website.
A letter was sent to FedEx, Nike, and PepsiCo. that was signed by 87 investors and shareholders that totaled around $620 billion asked the companies to terminate their relationship with the team unless they decided to change their name. The financial pressure and potential consequences played a factor in team owner Dan Synder and the organization retiring their nickname.
"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," the team said in their statement Monday morning. Dan Snyder had been opposed to changing the team name, even saying in an interview with USA Today in 2013, "We'll never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps."
This statement only announces the retirement of the Redskins nickname. The new name will be announced at a later date. What could be a reason for the team not having a new name already is because someone has already trademarked a number of potential names for the team. According to Will Brinson, names like the Washington Redtails, Washington Monuments, Washington Red Wolves, and more have been trademarked by a realtor in Alexandria. The name Washington Redskins was trademarked by someone in California.
One of the names that were rumored that isn't on the realtor's list is the Washington Warriors. Riveria said that it would "be awesome" if the team name could be changed and finalized before the start of the upcoming season.
The retiring of the Redskins name is the first step in a process that will take months for the Washington football team. The mounting pressure and backlash has forced them to retire their nickname and search for new options. The team still wants to use the burgundy and gold colors that they associated themselves with for such a long time. The name change is the start of a new direction for a franchise that has been mediocre at best in the past few years. Now they must find a new name that is unique and appropriate given the social climate and their aspirations for their football squad in the future.