One of the biggest impetuses for the Washington football name change was pressure from the team's sponsors. Leading into the decision, it was reported that a number of sponsors and merchandising companies wanted to see a new name in the nation's capital, and chief among them was FedEx.
Not only does FedEx own the naming rights to FedExField, the team's home stadium, but CEO Fred Smith is also a minority owner in the franchise.
At a virtual shareholders meeting on Monday, Smith and the company addressed a question in regards to FedEx's role in the name change, according to a story in the (Memphis) Commercial Appeal. FedEx's headquarters are in Memphis.
The question posed referred to potentially alienating customers who are "sick to death of loud performative wokeness" and asked if the company will commit to “dropping the radical political posturing."
The company's Chief Marketing Officer Brie Carere pointed to FedEx's longstanding history of supporting movements in regards to diversity and inclusion, while also emphasizing that they support the team's decision fully - and that it was ultimately Washington's decision, not theirs.
“We appreciate very much the Washington Football Team’s decision to change its name and its logo," Carere said. "And please remember it was the team’s decision."