July 12, 2020

Washington NFL team to announce retirement of ‘Redskins’ nickname, reveal new name Monday


SportsPulse: While it appears Washington’s NFL team is finally putting to bed their racially insensitive nickname. There are other major sports teams whose nickname origins are linked to America’s culturally-insensitive past.USA TODAY

Just less than two weeks after one of his most prominent corporate sponsors urged him to change the name of his football team, Washington owner Daniel Snyder plans to announce the retirement of the “Redskins” nickname and reveal a new team name Monday morning, a person with knowledge of the situation confirmed to USA TODAY Sports. 

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the announcement of a pending change had not been made.  

The new name remains unknown, but Warriors, Red Wolves and Redtails have ranked among the post popular choices among fans on social media. 

Snyder has long ignored requests of Native American tribes and other organizations to change the name because some deem the term offensive, citing the fact that the dictionary classifies it as a racial slur. 

In 2013, Snyder, who grew up cheering for the team and purchased it in 1999, told USA TODAY Sports that he would “NEVER” change the name.  

He and the team have maintained that the name was intended to honor Native Americans. They pointed to a 2016 Washington Post survey that found that 9 of 10 Native Americans polled had no problem with the name. However, opposing Native American tribes questioned the accuracy of that research. 

Washington owner Daniel Snyder in 2018.
Washington owner Daniel Snyder in 2018.BRAD MILLS, BRAD MILLS-USA TODAY SPORTS

As the climate in the country has changed to a place of greater awareness of racial insensitivities, the Redskins name debate returned to the spotlight. A group of investors urged FedEx, Nike and Pepsi to join their fight to change the name. Meanwhile, reports surfaced that Washington’s minority owners also had encouraged Snyder to make a change. He had turned a deaf ear until FedEx, whose president and chairman Fred Smith owns a stake of the team, publicly demanded a change on July 2.   

The following day, Snyder issued a team statement that he would be conducting a thorough review of the matter. Shortly after, coach Ron Rivera told the Post that he hoped the new name could be in place by the start of the 2020 season, and revealed that he and Snyder shared a goal of honoring Native American culture and the military with the selection of the new name. 

By Mike Jones

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