The name of the team does not change immediately. The club’s website remains Redskins.com, the NFL’s official website still calls the team “Washington Redskins,” and Monday’s announcement was posted on Redskins’ letterhead. A person aware of the situation said the team was planning to use Redskins until a new name was chosen.
On Sunday, two people who knew the team’s plans said that the preferred replacement name was held up by branding issues, which is why the team was unable to announce the new name on Monday.
“As part of it [review] We want to keep our sponsors, fans and the community up to date with our thinking, ”the team said in a statement. “Today we announce that we will withdraw the Redskins name and logo after this review is completed.”
The statement also states that Snyder and Rivera “are working closely together to develop a new name and design approach that strengthens the reputation of our proud, traditional franchise and inspires our sponsors, fans and the community for the next 100 years.”
In an interview on July 4th, Rivera said that he and Snyder had come up with two names that Rivera would have really liked. He didn’t reveal the names, but said he wanted to consult with Indian and military organizations to make sure the new name honored them both.
The decision to change the name of the 87-year-old team is under increasing corporate sponsor pressure on the franchise and the broader nationwide race discussion.
Snyder had previously said he would never change the Redskins’ controversial name, which is considered a bow against Native Americans. The post-George Floyd social uprising, in which corporations and governments across the country removed logos and symbols that were considered offensive, put pressure on the old name, including by some of the franchise’s key sponsors , too large.
At least one of Snyder’s external advisers asked him to deal with the name problem in the days after Floyd’s death, said a person with direct knowledge of the plea. Soon after, Snyder apparently began to deal with the reality of a name change.
On July 2, FedEx – one of the franchise provider’s top sponsors and owner of his stadium’s naming rights – released a statement asking the team to change his name and sent a letter to the team’s lawyers, in which it stated to end the naming rights agreement and not pay the remaining $ 45 million of the contract if Snyder did not change the team name. Other sponsors, including PepsiCo, Nike and Bank of America, made similar demands.
Rivera said in an interview on July 4 that he’s been working with Snyder on changing the name since late May or early June. Rivera added that NFL officials began advising Snyder on the name issue in mid-June.
Name changes are complicated processes, and Washington faces a serious challenge to introduce the new name before the opening game against Philadelphia on September 13. In addition to making new helmets and uniforms, the word “redskins” must be removed from the signs at the team’s training facility in Ashburn, Virginia, and near FedEx Field. In a media manual that is to go to the printers, the old name must be removed from 500 pages. Even the official club address, 21300 Redskins Park Drive, needs to be changed.