Washington Redskins To Review Name Change After Public Pressure

An aerial view of FedEx Field taken during NFL week one between the Washington Redskins and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

The Washington Redskins are going to look at changing the team name. The franchise issued an official release, which Adam Schefter posted on Twitter. The release was issued just one day after the Redskins came under pressure from several outside groups to make a change.

“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 release said. “This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.”

The release went on to quote Redskins’ owner Dan Snyder as saying that the review process will allow him to take in the proud history of the franchise and weigh that against those who have been asking for a name change for decades, as well as more recently. The release also quoted new head coach Ron Rivera as saying the issue was of “personal importance” to him, and he looked forward to discussions with Snyder and other members of the Redskins in the coming weeks.

The official release closed by saying the Redskins believe the review can be completed with “the best interest of all in mind.”

The announcement that the team had been looking into a possible name change for the last few weeks was viewed as the most surprising aspect of the announcement. Snyder has been a vocal opponent of changing the Redskins’ name. In fact, just an hour before the team’s official release, NBC Sports reported he had said he had no intention of addressing the calls for a change. Just what happened in the hour in between that report and the announcement of an official review is unknown.

Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder looks on
  Mitchell Layton / Getty Images

What is known is that there were some around the NFL who thought Snyder could no longer ignore the pressure being put on ownership after FedEx officially requested on Thursday that the Redskins name go away. The team plays its home games on FedEx field, and the delivery company paid $205 million in 1999 for those naming rights. The company’s CEO is among the team’s ownership group.

As The Inquisitr previously reported, just hours after FedEx made its plea official, Nike pulled all Redskins merchandise off its website as a form of silent protest.

If the Redskins do change their team name, it wouldn’t be a totally unprecedented move, especially for teams in D.C. In 1995, the NBA’s Washington Bullets officially changed its name to the Washington Wizards.

Schefter said he believes the Redskins wouldn’t be announcing the review unless the end result was a name change.