• Sofia Eugeniou

Washington Redskins will drop reference to Native Americans from their name

Image credit: Wall Street Journal

The Washington Redskins, an American National Football League (NFL) franchise are going to officially drop the reference to Native Americans from their name from today (Monday 13 July), after pressure from sponsors prompted the team to review its moniker.

The franchise's name and its image have been a source of controversy since it was adopted in 1933, particularly questioned by Native Americans since the 1960s.

Native Americans demanding change include tribal nations, national tribal organisations, civil rights organisations, and other members of the public.

While the topic has received widespread public attention since the 1990s, it wasn't until the killing of George Floyd just last month that major sponsors of the football team indicated support for a change, and as a result, NFL and management announced to begin a process of review over the issue.

After PepsiCo and a number of other major sponsors followed suit, the Redskins announced on 3 July that they had begun a thorough review of the name.

Two weeks ago FedEx, which holds the naming rights to the Redskins' home stadium, formally requested the team to change its name.

The decision to drop its name marks a significant shift in position from franchise owner Daniel Snyder, who in 2013 had vowed to never change the team's name.

Several suggestions for a new team name have been provided, with Redtails a 3/1 favourite with BetOnline, followed by Generals and Presidents.

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