• Andrew Gabriel

Are the Redskins Finally Getting a Name Change?

Updated: Jul 4, 2020

After years and years of controversy, the Washington Redskins may finally be changing their team name. On Friday, the Washington Redskins launched a review of their nickname, according to multiple sources.

This comes after FedEx, title sponsor of the team’s stadium, called for the name change seemingly out of nowhere. This is effective not only because of the stadium name, but because the CEO of FedEx Fred Smith owns a minority share in the team

Since then, Nike has also pulled all Washington Redskins products from their online shop.

What it looks like when you look for Redskins merch on Nike's site

Fans have been asking the Washington Redskins organization to change their name for years, and with the events of recent months and the added emphasis on racial justice, the time seems absolutely perfect for a name change to occur.

However, Dan Snyder has yet to budge on a name change. He has been majority owner of the team since 1999 and, despite the public backlash, has not changed the team’s name.

But money talks, and it is raising its voice.

FedEx pays the Redskins roughly $7.6 million per year for stadium naming rights (they signed a 27-year deal in 1999 worth $205 million). That may not seem like it puts a dent in an organization that brings in over $500 million every year, but expenses are not limited to player and coach wages.

FedEx field in Landover, MD. (via NBC Sports)

All things considered, having $7.6 million less than you had the year before would be troublesome for most people, but for a sports organization and everything they have to pay for, it is quite a burden.

Should Dan Snyder refuse to change the team’s name, the loss will be more than just that of the possible reaction of FedEx (FedEx, among other investors, have yet to actually threaten to pull out of the team); ignoring this could potentially cause a domino effect that could be a serious threat to the wellbeing of the organization.

One could reasonably argue that public outcry has not worked before and there is no reason to think it will work now. But that’s only half true.

Petition to change the Redskins name (https://sign.moveon.org/petitions/washington-redskins-its-1)

It has not worked before, that is correct, but we live in a very different world today than we have any other time in history. With the increased emphasis put on racial equality, should Snyder choose not to change the name, they will be met with more public backlash than any team in the history of the NFL.

In American sports, when you lose popularity, you lose money. Ticket sales go down, merchandise sales drop, and in a situation like this, the last thing the organization should expect is to sell anything with the word “Redskins” on it.

What could the team be called instead?

I asked the guys from 1306 Sports what they might want the Redskins to be called next, and here’s what we came up with:

Jayden Becker: Washington Warriors/Bullets/Defenders

Drew Hyland: Washington Warriors

Connor Wood: Washington Warriors

Ryan Costello: Washington Nationals/Capitals (the guy is a visionary)

Mark Puskey: Washington Red Wings/Soldiers

Aidan Charde: Washington Senators/Kings

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