Washington announced it would be retiring the "Redskins" name 10 days after a statement declaring they'd conduct a "thorough review" of its controversial moniker. The review was seemingly in response to key sponsors putting significant pressure on the organization to change its name.
Around the time of FedEx's formal request for a name change and Nike removing team merchandise from their website was the time reporters started to dig for information regarding a possible name change including NFL Network's Ian Rapoport.
Dan Snyder and the league had been talking about the team's name for months, according to Rapoport.
"This has actually been going on for a long time," Rapoport told The Sports Junkies Tuesday. "One thing I know about Dan Snyder, and this was maybe in more so when Bruce Allen was in charge, [he] loves secrecy. He loves to do everything kind of behind closed doors, so these talks were going on for, really months before we knew what was happening.
"On one hand, it's good because it really does show that this is not necessarily something that FedEx and Nike just forced [Washington] to do," he said. These were going on several months before and I'm kind of glad they went in this direction, I think it's the right one."
Based on commissioner Roger Goodell's statement on July 3, the league had been in contact with Snyder and the organization for a 'few weeks' prior to Washington's "thorough review" announcement. But several months? Yeah, Goodell and Washington definitely left that part out.
The fact that both the team and the league had a nice head-start on the situation could bode well for those hoping for a new name before the start of the 2020 season. Rapoport even revealed his understanding that a new name would go along with the old name's retirement as sort of a package deal. As we know, this was not the case.
"That's what I was told for probably more than a week," Rapoport said. "When I was kind of tracking this and seeing what's going on it was, 'Alright there's gonna be a name change soon' and then it was 'Alright there's gonna be a name change in 24 hours' and then 'Actually we're just going to retire the name.'"
So for now, the old name getting retired will have to do.
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