FedEx, the company holding the naming rights to the stadium where the National Football League (NFL) Washington Redskins play, on Thursday requested the team change its nickname amid the ongoing anti-racism movement spanning the US, dividing public opinion and causing hot debate on social media.
"We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name," FedEx said in a statement.
The $205 million deal with the Redskins dates back to 1998 and runs through 2025. Dan Snyder, the owner of the team, has faced increasing pressure to change the name of the team, which many suggest is racist, and ongoing efforts to change the name have been gaining ground since the 1960s.
Netizens, like everyone else, have engaged in outraged dispute over the matter, with many calling to enjoy the sport, and not become offended because of a name. Some recall that FedEx did not seem to have a problem with the team name when they made the original deal at the end of the last century.
Not one single person that cheers for the Washington Redskins will actually stop cheering for them if they change their name.— Jesse Shamp (@JShamp_724) July 3, 2020
It’s like your kooky aunt who says she’s giving up Facebook and then posts a recipe an hour later.
Just do it and get it over with.
They had no problems with the name when they first paid.— Tyrone Coles (@xxxTtimexxx) July 3, 2020
But the redskins use that name to represent the ultimate warrior... not to be racist... even the tribe leader they named themselves after said they were honored to have them represented in the NFL.... do some research— Captain Price (@priceofcarter) July 2, 2020
Some users cited polls suggesting that a majority of Native Americans do not care about the name.
Another group of users insists that the name is a "slur" and is "racist", supporting the pressure on the team to change it.
If the name is a slur and is bad, how can you continue to openly say it?! @ESPNNFL cannot claim they’re for social justice and equality, yet continue to degrade Native Americans.— Cafecito_con_leche (@_IsmaelCastro) July 2, 2020
Good. The time for change is now. Get rid of anything or any name that offends or singles out a particular race. It’s time for equality for all.— Sandy (@sandrawillis412) July 2, 2020Nevertheless, others encouraged Snyder not to submit, as there are many other teams whose names could be perceived as racist.
Kudos to Fedex. Long overdue. Complete no-brainer. This is an absolutely grotesque, appalling, and grossly insulting name. It diminishes everyone.— Dan Beaton (@DanBeaton10) July 2, 2020
Dan, don’t let the mob intimidate you. Stand firm. Don’t change the name of the @Redskins. This #blm bs has nothing to do with racism. It’s all about inciting fear and intimidation. If you change the name, you are a pussy. #WashingtonRedskins #Redskins #danSnyder— tgerbait03 (@tgerbait03) July 3, 2020
A lot of talk about the Washington Redskins but there's still the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, and Cleveland Indians.— Mathew Crouse (@MrBojangles1031) July 2, 2020
Better change the Kansas City Chiefs name then. Also the Atlanta Braves,might as well throw in the Texas Rangers since everyone thinks police need to go. Just go ahead and cancel Christmas & every other holiday while we're at it since everyone one of them offends someone— C. (@CaliDreaminDFS) July 2, 2020
Many people went on to suggest their own naming options.
Great idea . Let’s change name to the triggered libtards!— Jeff Sac (@jeff_sac) July 3, 2020
Change it to Washington Snowflakes.— RonBad (@RonBadum) July 2, 2020
Washington Murder Hornets.— College Fatness (@CollegeFatness) July 2, 2020
Cause they were relevant for a week and aren't really a threat.
The Washington Redskins team was founded in 1932. While ongoing debates gain added fuel amid increased anti-racism sparked by the death of George Floyd, the controversy over the naming is not new for the team, and the issue has ignited clashes since the 1930s. Some have attempted to protest the name in court, without success.
Black Lives Matter movement activists and others are publicly opposing many historical and cultural elements seen as offensive, toppling statues of Confederate generals and, alongside the Pentagon, initiating the renaming of military bases, universities and airports.