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Fred Smith, Dwight Schar have been trying to sell their interest in the Washington franchise

As a result of major sponsors applying pressure, Washington has announced the team name is under 'thorough' review.

Thursday’s statement from FedEx, the company founded by Washington minority partner Fred Smith, opposing the name of the team stunned many around the league. However, the public assault on a name that Washington owner Daniel Snyder had said would never change wasn’t the result of an epiphany for Smith. Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Smith had been trying to get Snyder to change the name for “years.”

Smith’s dissatisfaction with the name and other issues already had brought Smith to a point where he, along with fellow minority owner Dwight Schar, had actively been trying to sell their pieces of the team. However, both have to date been unable to find a buyer.

These dynamics make it even more reasonable to wonder whether, behind the scenes, Smith, Schar, and/or minority owner Robert Rothman are hoping that, ultimately, Snyder decides to sell his controlling interest in the franchise. If he does, it may be easier for Smith and Schar to find buyers. Or maybe they’ll decide that they prefer to stick around if someone else (like, say, Amazon founder and Washington Post owner Jeff Bezos) takes over the team.