The Washington Redskins are officially retiring the use of their name, according to a press statement released by the team on Monday.
In the statement, the team said they were thoroughly investigating the use of the name and whether or not it should be changed.
“That review has begun in earnest. As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans, and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward,” the statement read.
And, they reached a decision.
“Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review,” it continued.
“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 statement concluded.
BREAKING: The Washington Redskins officially announce they will change their name and logo. pic.twitter.com/7EEzsXXkHu
— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) July 13, 2020
As for the replacement, several options have been rumored.
Leading the way is the Warriors or the Redwolves, but some behind-the-scenes moves could be indicating a push for the later.
Washington Post sportswriter Jake Russell reports the new name is tied in a legal fight.
"Two people with knowledge of the team’s plans said Sunday that the preferred replacement name is tied up in a trademark fight, which is why the team can’t announce the new name Monday." (via @Lescarpenter) https://t.co/RYHSnsb6Kh
— Jake Russell (@_JakeRussell) July 13, 2020
Red Wolves is tied up in a lawsuit between Arizona State University and Chattanooga Red Wolves https://t.co/07suTNMQsM
— Martin McCaulay (@MartinMcCaulay) July 13, 2020
Other sports reporters are saying the Redskins’ office is seeing a number of personnel changes.
Redskins fired Alex Santos, the director of pro personnel, and Richard Mann II, the asst. dir. of pro personnel Saturday. @BenStandig first to report. Team source tells me Santos’ departure is “non-football” related, but would not elaborate. Gut tells me we’ll know why soon
— Chick Hernandez (@MrChickSports) July 13, 2020
I’ve been told it has to do with the front office firings of Alex Santos and Richard Mann II.
Again no details, no specifics. Sorry people…I’m waiting just like you. https://t.co/Y0HoqIhYsU
— Scott Abraham (@ScottABC7) July 13, 2020
Former Panthers pro scout Don Warren joining Ron Rivera as Washington’s asst director of pro personnel, per source. Warren spent his entire 14-yr playing career w/ Washington and won 3 SBs.
His contract w/ CAR was not renewed.
— Joe Person (@josephperson) July 13, 2020
The Washington Post reports the name change was spurred by a push for cultural sensitivity following the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis—but the organization had been here before without making any changes. Then, one of the Redskins’ top sponsors said they would be pulling their money:
The decision to change 87-year-old team name comes amid mounting pressure on the franchise from corporate sponsors and the broader nationwide discussion of race.
Snyder had previously said he would never change the controversial Redskins name, which is considered to be a slur against Native Americans. But in the social uprising that followed George Floyd’s death, with corporations and governments around the country removing logos and symbols considered to be offensive, the pressure to drop the old name — including from some of the franchise’s most important sponsors — was too great.
On July 2, FedEx — one of the franchise’s top sponsors and the holder of its stadium’s naming rights — released a statement asking the team to change its name, and it sent a letter to team lawyers saying it would terminate the naming rights deal and not pay the contract’s remaining $45 million if Snyder did not change the team name. Other sponsors, including PepsiCo, Nike and Bank of America, also made similar demands.
The Washington Post also reports the team would have to work quickly should it hope to implement the change by the start of the season on September 13.
“In addition to making new helmets and uniforms, the word ‘Redskins’ must be pulled from signs at the team’s Ashburn, Va. practice facility and around FedEx Field. A media guide, about to go to the printers, must have the old name removed from 500 pages of type. Even the official club address, 21300 Redskins Park Drive, has to be altered,” the report adds.