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It seems 2020 is about to collect another scalp.
With much of corporate America kowtowing to embrace the left-wing Black Lives Matter political message, Nike has exercised its liberal muscle by reportedly pulling all Washington Redskins merchandise off its website.
The NFL team has been under pressure for years to change the team name in place since 1933, as many on the left say Redskins is a racial slur. Some Native Americans have said they’re proud of how they are portrayed by the team.
The NFL and Nike signed an eight-year deal in 2018, with the sports apparel company providing all 32 teams with game-day uniforms and sideline apparel that bears the trademark swoosh logo.
Nike, which recently celebrated polarizing former NFL player Colin Kaepernick in an ad, was one of three companies to reportedly receive a letter from investors asking it to sever ties with Washington unless the team changes its name, according to NBC News. The other two companies are FedEx and PepsiCo,
“In light of the Black Lives Matter movement that has focused the world’s attention on centuries of systemic racism, we are witnessing a fresh outpouring of opposition to the team name,” the letter reportedly said. “Therefore, it is time for Nike to meet the magnitude of this moment, to make their opposition to the racist team name clear, and to take tangible and meaningful steps to exert pressure on the team to cease using it.”
FedEx holds naming rights to Washington’s home stadium and its CEO, Fred Smith, holds a minority ownership stake in the NFL franchise.
In a statement earlier Thursday, the company said it had asked the team to change its name.
“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” FedEx said in a statement to FOX Business.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder has said for years that he will never change the team name. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell acknowledged in 2018 that a name change was unlikely to occur.
Recently, however, it appears that Snyder’s position on the name change has softened.
The team released a statement on the issue Friday saying it’s conducting a “thorough review.”
“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” the statement said. “The review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent events.”
Redskins to conduct thorough review of the team name. This is massive. pic.twitter.com/q9wknAAEXB
— JP Finlay (@JPFinlayNBCS) July 3, 2020
Snyder commented to say the team is now taking “input” from outside sources into consideration.
“This process allows the team to take 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,” the owner said.
Commissioner Goodell called the move an “important step.”
The Redskins are looking to move to a new RFK Stadium in Washington, but local Democrats are making that move contingent on a name change, FOX 5 reported.
D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio said, “There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, DC, without first changing the team name.”
As for online reactions, they all pale in comparison to this offering:
Are we having an NFL team renaming contest or what?
Washington Thin Skins
— Apocolyptic Smirk (@FoundersGirl) July 3, 2020
Here’s a quick sampling of online responses from Twitter: (** Language Warning)
If the Redskins change their name it should be to the Yellow Belly Chickens.
— Mark Dice (@MarkDice) July 3, 2020
Asked two different people very plugged into Snyder’s decision-making about this name review and chances of “Redskins” remaining. Both said “It’s over.”
Snyder’s got no choice.
— Mike Jones (@ByMikeJones) July 3, 2020
Washington Foreskins for me
— Little Larry Sellers (@SpawnOfDanelaw) July 3, 2020
Teams are named after vicious, ruthless predators: Bears, Lions, etc. I vote for Washington Lobbyists
— Famous Frank Pharma Czar™🇺🇸🇮🇹 (@rphfrank) July 3, 2020
I suggest the Washington Bottoms
if you’re going to bend over for the outrage mob, might as well make it official
— Tench Coxe (@CoxsTench) July 3, 2020
This one’s going to be interesting to me since their owner’s on the record saying he’d never change the name. If he caves, we’re truly in too deep.
— H20Worries (@H20Worries) July 3, 2020
— (*Natural Liberty of Man *) (@ConcreteJungel) July 3, 2020
I hope so. The “Washington Wokes” would be my entry.
— I Might Be Donna (@Crypsis12) July 3, 2020
How about Washington wimps?
— Mark Winter (@mdwinterwv) July 3, 2020
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