A Native American, with very red skin, as a famous emblem. The Washington National Football League franchise will change the Redskins name and logo, the team said on Monday in a statement, without saying more about the new visual. Indeed, the latter has long been denounced by Native American groups as an ethnic insult.
The announcement comes just days after the team said a "thorough review" of the name was underway. This suggests a desire to accelerate change in a context of global awareness and the shock wave after the death of George Floyd.
pic.twitter.com/wFvTxdUP9s- Washington Redskins (@Redskins) July 13, 2020
The new name still under discussion
Team owner Daniel Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera "are working closely to develop a new name and a new design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud and tradition-rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, our fans and the community for the next 100 years. "
In an interview with The Washington Post , Ron Rivera said he was working with Snyder on a name that would honor both the military and the Native Americans.
After weeks of protests denouncing racism and while the United States is in the process of self-examination to rethink its relationship to its racist past, the Washington Redskins are the first team to announce a name change.
Other teams to come?
Voices have been raised for a long time asking this American football championship (NFL) team to change its name and logo, like Native American organizations calling for the abandonment of "this racist insult". But Daniel Snyder had always refused, claiming that this nickname paid homage to the Amerindians.
But as the issue is increasingly debated in the United States, The Cleveland Indians of Major League Baseball have also committed to revising their names. The team manager recently said that he thinks "it's time to move on."
Pressure from sponsors
Several clubs seem to want to anticipate bad economic consequences on their franchise. In Washington, the decision to reconsider the name was also made following increasing pressure from several corporate sponsors, including FedEx, who have the naming rights for the team stadium.
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Other brands, including Nike and Amazon, had even removed the team's items from their online stores. Beyond the examination of conscience displayed, it is therefore also to economically save the club.