In recent days, the Washington Redskins have faced major pushback regarding the name of the team.
AdWeek reported that investors in companies such as Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo have asked the companies to terminate business relationships with the team unless the name is changed. FedEx, which holds the naming rights to the Redskins stadium, then responded with a formal statement saying “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name." Now, Nike and Pepsico have a decision to make.
Furthermore, government officials have stated that the RFK site up for sale will not consider the Redskins if the team name remains what it is, The Washington Post reported. RFK is a potential spot for the team's new stadium that it hopes to build in the coming years.
RELATED: FEDEX ASKS REDSKINS TO CHANGE NAME
With the demands coming as the country demands racial justice following the murder of George Floyd, Washington has a decision to make. Team owner Dan Snyder is the man who could make the decision. Here's a look at what Snyder has said about the issue in the past:
Snyder was vocal in a 2013 interview with USA TODAY Sports that a name change was not an option.
"We'll never change the name," Snyder said. "It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps." - May 9, 2013
Later in the year, Snyder sent a letter to fans of the team addressing the situation.
"I respect the opinions of those who disagree," Snyder wrote. "I want them to know that I do hear them, and I will continue to listen and learn. But we cannot ignore our 81 year history, or the strong feelings of most of our fans as well as Native Americans throughout the country. After 81 years, the team name 'Redskins' continues to hold the memories and meaning of where we came from, who we are, and who we want to be in years to come." - October 9, 2013
In 2014, Snyder did an interview with ESPN about the name of the team before then-Redskins tight end Chris Cooley spoke on the issue on "Outside the Lines".
“A Redskin is a football player. A Redskin is our fans, the Washington Redskin fan base. It represents honor, represents respect, represents pride, hopefully winning.” - September 3, 2014
“I think you’re going to have some people that feel a certain way, absolutely, and we respect those opinions. But I hope they respect our opinion. The respect needs to be mutual, and I hope they do.” - September 3, 2014
Snyder also sat down with Comcast SportsNet’s Chick Hernandez to discuss how the team was handling the controversy surrounding the name.
“I always say this in life, truth is on your side. I believe in that. And the logo in 1971, was helped designed by the head of Blackfeet Nation, the chair of Blackfeet Nation at the time, Walter ‘Blackie’ Wetzel. They designed the logo. And the truth’s on your side. I believe in that so much, passionately, that we wanted the fans, as well as everyone else, to know the historical facts because it’s important.” - September 3, 2014
“I’m the steward of this franchise. Most important to me are the fans, the alumni, the players, and we owe — all of us — a great gratitude to what built this franchise. It’s to John Riggins, it’s to Sonny Jurgensen, it’s to Sammy Baugh, it’s to Bobby Mitchell. Bobby Mitchell is, to me, an icon, and the name of the franchise, and who he played for, and who he respects, it’s the Washington Redskins. Everyone’s so proud of that. We owe so much to the alumni.” - September 3, 2014
In 2016, following a poll done by The Washington Post that surveyed how Native Americans felt about the name, Snyder commented on the results that showed nine-in-10 were not offended.
“The Washington Redskins team, our fans and community have always believed our name represents honor, respect and pride,” Snyder said in a statement released by the team. “Today’s Washington Post polling shows Native Americans agree. We are gratified by this overwhelming support from the Native American community, and the team will proudly carry the Redskins name." - May 19, 2016
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