The NFL’s Washington football team made it official on Monday when the franchise announced it will be ending its use of the nickname “Redskins.”
The team said in a brief statement it was still completing its review but would be retiring the Redskins name and logo when finished. A completion date or new team nickname were not announced.
The franchise began a review of the name on July 3 after a number of team sponsors–including Pepsi and FedEx—stated they would no longer support the team if it kept the nickname. The nickname has long been considered a racial slur.
“(The) 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 team said. “Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review.”
Owner Dan Snyder and head coach Ron 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 said.
Native American groups and civil rights leaders have been pressuring the team for decades to change the name. The NFL also privately put pressure on the team to change the nickname. Recently, Snyder has insisted he would never change it.
National events, and a rapidly changing culture, however, forced him to. The NFL has promised a full embrace of diversity following the death of George Floyd and the national conversation about race that followed.
The process of changing the name will be complicated. The team must make new helmets and uniforms, and the name has to be removed from various corners of the franchise. That even includes the physical location of the facility on Redskins Park Drive.
Nonetheless, the team wants to move quickly to change the moniker; training camp starts this month and with it sales of new merchandise.