Stadium sponsor FedEx requests Washington NFL team change its nickname
Memphis-based company signed stadium naming rights deal with franchise in 1999
FedEx, the namesake of the Washington Redskins' stadium, is asking the team to change its controversial nickname.
The Memphis-based delivery firm wrote in a statement Thursday, as reported by multiple media outlets, "We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name."
The Redskins' stadium in Landover, Md., is known as FedEx Field under a 27-year, $205 million US deal that went into effect in November 1999.
FedEx has another major tie to the Redskins, as its founder/chairman/CEO Frederick Smith is a minority owner of the football team.
WATCH | Black athletes use their voice to invoke change:
FedEx's announcement came a day after Adweek reported that investment firms and shareholders wrote letters to FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo, asking the companies to end their sponsorship agreements with the Redskins. The letter, signed by 87 firms, threatened to stop financial backing of the three Redskins sponsors.
The group behind the letter has combined assets of $620 billion, according to the report.
Nike and Pepsi refused to comment to Adweek on Wednesday.
From Nike’s website:<br><br>31 teams in its NFL section.<br><br>Washington’s the only one missing. <a href="https://t.co/p0UWJBgnUf">pic.twitter.com/p0UWJBgnUf</a>—@RandyScottESPN
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has said that the team will not change the nickname as long as he is in charge.
The franchise began using the Redskins nickname in 1933, when it was based in Boston. Team owner George Preston Marshall moved the club to Washington in 1937.
A statue of Marshall was removed from the Redskins' former Washington venue, RFK Stadium, on June 19 in the wake of protests seeking racial equality following the death of George Floyd. Under Marshall's leadership, the Redskins were the last NFL team to integrate, adding their first Black players in 1962.