THE Washington Redskins have reportedly planned to announce on Monday that they’re changing their controversial name — but haven’t decided on a new one yet.
According to The Washington Post, the Washington, DC-based NFL team has a preferred new name for the change, but trademarking has become an issue.
It’s unclear when a new name will be revealed for one of the league’s oldest franchises, but Coach Ron Rivera said earlier this month he hopes the name would be in place at the start of the 2020 season.
On July 3, the team announced they were launching a “thorough review” of the name “Redskins” after FedEx, the title sponsor of the team’s stadium in Maryland, requested they change their name.
The team cited "recent events around the country" and "feedback from our community" as reasons for the review as Americans continue to decry systemic racism around the country since George Floyd's death in police custody on May 25.
"This process takes into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization sponsors, the National Football League, and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field," team owner Dan Snyder said.
Pressure has been mounting on the Redskins to change their "racist" name and logo, depicting a Native American man.
Over a dozen Native American leaders and organizations wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell last week demanding an immediate end to Washington’s use of the name.
In the letter, they said they “expect the NFL to engage in a robust, meaningful reconciliation process with Native American movement leaders, tribes, and organizations to repair the decades of emotional violence and other serious harms this racist team name has caused to Native Peoples.”
Head coach Ron Riviera said of the name change: "This issue is of personal importance to me.”
"I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our military," he said.
For years, Snyder said that he would never change the name.
In 1999, FedEx became the naming rights partner for the Redskins’ home stadium on a 27-year deal worth $205million.
FedEx Chairman and CEO Fred Smith holds an ownership stake in the NFL franchise.
Per the team's website, the Redskins were found in 1932 as the Boston Braves, and is "one of the NFL's oldest and most-storied franchises."
"The team changed its name to the Redskins in 1933, and in 1937, the team relocated to Washington, DC, and immediately won the first of its five World Championships."
After the Redskin’s name change review was announced, the MLB’s Cleveland Indians, based in Ohio, said they were reviewing their team name, too.
The baseball team announced the review of their 105-year-old name in a statement posted on social media.
"The recent social unrest in our community and our country has only underscored the need for us to keep improving as an organization on issues of social justice,” it said.
"With that in mind, we are committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name."
After the 2018 season, the Indians stopped wearing the smiling, red-faced Chief Wahoo emblem on their hats and jerseys, though they still sell products with that image.
The logo been singled out by Native American groups as an offensive racial caricature, with the team criticized for perpetuating stereotypes about indigenous people.
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President Donald Trump slammed the decision by the major US sports teams.
"They name teams out of STRENGTH, not weakness, but now the Washington Redskins & Cleveland Indians, two fabled sports franchises, look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct," Trump tweeted.
"Indians, like Elizabeth Warren, must be very angry right now!"