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Washington NFL team says it will retire Redskins name, logo

The Washington Redskins informed Monday that they will be retiring their nickname and logo after completing a thorough review that started on July 3. 

“Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review,” the team said in a statement.

It had been widely expected that Washington would change its name, and one source said Saturday night that an announcement of a new name would come soon. 

Sports Business Daily reported that the announcement of a new name has been delayed because trademark issues are pending.

Last week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that the franchise would not use any Native American imagery. Washington’s logo of an American Indian chief was designed by a Native American in 1971.

Another source told ESPN that the plan, as of now, is for the franchise to keep its use of burgundy and gold colors. Rivera had said the team wanted to include the military in its new name.

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Carla Fredericks, the director of the American Indian Law Clinic and director of First Peoples Worldwide, said she did not want to see the team pivot to a name such as the Warriors. She said it would be considered a tie-in to Native Americans.

The franchise said on July 3 that it would undergo a thorough review of its 87-year-old name, which is viewed as derogatory.

By that point, multiple sources said, team owner Snyder already was engaged in talks with the league about a possible new name. Several sources said the name would change, but there was nothing official from the team.

On July 2, FedEx issued a statement saying it had informed the team it wanted the name changed. The other sponsors later released statements saying the same. Amazon said it would stop selling the team’s merchandise.

Walmart and Target said they would stop selling their gear in stores. And, according to The Washington Post, FedEx said it would remove its signage from the stadium unless the name was changed for the 2021 campaign.

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Investors call on Nike, FedEx, PepsiCo to cut ties with Redskins over name

In order to get Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder to pay attention to the ongoing calls for him to change the name of his NFL team, investors in major companies that have relationships with the franchise want to hit him in the wallet.

According to Adweek, letters signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion were distributed to Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo last week. Each of the three separate letters asked the companies to end their business relationships with Washington’s football franchise unless it changes its team name.

PepsiCo recently made the decision to sunset the Aunt Jemima brand, so there is some precedent for the company taking meaningful steps toward making real change.

Carla Fredericks, the director of First Peoples Worldwide and head of the University of Colorado Law School’s American Indian Law Clinic, told Adweek she was pleased to see shareholders in Fortune 500 companies like FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo realize the potential power they wield to shape change.

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“I’m very encouraged by the rising awareness of how every dollar you spend is a vote you cast on your values,” Fredericks said. “And that applies to money you have in investments as well as any brands you support. Anyone that has a simple stock portfolio with an index fund owns a share of these companies.”

Former NFL coach and current NBC broadcaster Tony Dungy also newly shared his method of encouraging Washington’s team name to be changed.

“When I’m on the air, I try to just refer to them as Washington. I think it’s appropriate,” Dungy said. “If the team doesn’t want to change, the least I can do is try not to use it. You can say, ‘This has been a historic name and we’ve used it for this team for X number of years, but in this day and age, it’s offensive to some people, so we’re going to change it.’ I don’t think that’s hard.” Snyder, Washington’s owner since 1999, said as recently as 2013 that he does not plan to ever alter the team’s name.

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