Washington, D.C.’s NFL team announced plans to change their team name from the Washington “Redskins.” This news is following a comprehensive review that began on July 3rd. The 87 year old name name has been viewed as a derogatory term toward First Nations peoples. This transition will most likely be gradual, as the franchise has not finalized the new name. The Washington Post reported the news and indicated that the ideal new name trapped in a trademark dispute.
Large advertisers groups such as Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo had sent letters to the franchise also asking for the name to be changed. Amazon had also stated that it would halt all sales of “Redskins” merchandise. Walmart and Target also indicated that they would no longer sell apparel and gear in their stores. As par usual, once large advertisers threaten to leave, change is taken seriously.
Head of the Change the Mascot campaign, Ray Halbritter, released a statement on Monday which read: “We have made clear from the start that this movement was never about political correctness, but seeking to prevent unnecessary harm to our youth, since we know from social scientists the many harmful effects this mascot has had on Native Americans’ self-image. Today marks the start of a new chapter for the NFL and the Washington franchise, beginning a new legacy that can be more inclusive for fans of all backgrounds.”