The Washington NFL team will no longer use a racist slur for their team name

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I keep seeing jokes and memes about what Black Lives Matter activists are asking for versus what they’re actually getting. Activists want heavily militarized police forces to be defunded, they want killer cops to be arrested and prosecuted, they want smarter community policing and for systemic, institutional racism to be dismantled. What they’re getting is a bunch of TV shows hiding their “blackface” episodes, Breonna Taylor’s murderers going unarrested, and… this. NFL sponsors standing up to the Washington football team and forcing the team’s owners into renaming the team, which currently goes by a racist slur. I mean, it’s good news. But it’s depressing that it’s taken this long and it’s depressing that it took this much to convince the owners that in 2020, no one should be using a racist word for Native Americans as an NFL team name.

The Washington Redskins are no more. After mounting pressure for the NFL team to change its name — which has a history as a racial slur against Native Americans — the franchise announced it will do so on Monday.

“On July 3, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team’s name,” the statement read. “That review has begun in earnest. As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward.”

“Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review,” it continued. “[Owner] Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition-rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years.”

[From People]

I actually believe FedEx deserves a lot of credit for this. FedEx became the sponsor of the Washington team in 1999, and they have six more years on their contract with the team. FedEx was the company which got the ball rolling and said that they would withdraw their sponsorship unless the team was renamed. Other sponsors followed, in what seemed like a coordinated effort, and I’m guessing that the effort was coordinated by FedEx.

Anyway, all the team is doing now is announcing that they will no longer go by the racist term, but they don’t have a new name yet. I still say they should go for an animal name rather than a Washington-special name, like the Generals or Monuments or whatever. They should be the Washington Meerkats, Washington Elephants or Washington Gophers – something which will inspire cute merch.

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17 Responses to “The Washington NFL team will no longer use a racist slur for their team name”

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  1. LaUnicaAngelina says:

    It’s about effin time. Good job to fedex but it shouldn’t have taken a sponsor threat to get this to happen. But as they always say, money talks…

  2. Dani says:

    Maybe the Eagles will also now penalize their player for his antisemitism!

    • Ellen says:

      They did already penalize him, which included him paying a fine. They announced this like 3 days ago… you can see it on ESPN.

  3. Jessica says:

    Finally!!

  4. Case says:

    Took them long enough.

  5. Ariel says:

    I grew up in the DC suburbs (the part of Fairfax County that’s called Alexandria without being in the City of Alexandria) and was a huge Washington football fan. They won 3 superbowls in my childhood.
    And i loved them, i loved the fight song, i loved that they were the only professional team that had an old school marching band.

    But then i grew up. And realized things about the name, and the awful owner who was a -never change the name- jackass, and then the league blackballed Kaepernick and i stopped watching all together.
    This has taken too long.

    But i am pleased it is FINALLY happening.

    When the name change stuff began years ago, there were suggestions, and my favorite was the Washington Warriors, and the artwork was a solider and a military helmet. Considering the location of the team, i think Warrior, and using it to glorify and support our nation’s under funded (not enough funding for humans too much funding for buying from halliburton) military would be a lovely idea.

  6. Nlopez says:

    Glad to hear this! Good!

  7. VIV says:

    I really hope it happens, it has been too long! “Upon completion of this review” gives me an uneasy feeling that they may try to indefinitely extend it though, saying that they haven’t been able to find the right name/logo/etc…

  8. Lori says:

    How about the Washington BLMs. They want to correct their racist history, I cant think of a better name to move forward.

  9. Noodle says:

    I read a funny post on Reddit that talked about them becoming the “Washington Possums” because they get run over by the opposing team.

  10. adastraperaspera says:

    This is good news. I’m glad young fans will grow up without a logo that celebrates genocide. Sports were never my thing, but their influence is as strong as religion in this country. On a related note, the WNBA is honoring women victims of police brutality and racial violence this season by wearing jerseys with the slogan “Say Her Name” and also specifically naming “Breonna Taylor.” This visibility makes a difference.

  11. lucy2 says:

    People have been demanding this for years. It’s sad that it took corporations putting financial pressure on them to actually change it. But I’m glad to see it finally happening.
    So much needs to change, but little steps forward are still progress. We just can’t lose sight of the big steps.

  12. Courtney B says:

    The Washington Lobbyists? Their mascot can be a man in a suit with cash spilling out of a briefcase.

    Seriously it’s about time. This isn’t some ‘pc’ move as some are going to be squawking. It’s a freaking slur!

  13. lucy says:

    I am not looking to disagree with anyone, just curious…I have had many people say the Redskins name was given by a Native American who designed the symbol and was very honored to have this happen. Is this not true?

    • Cheryl says:

      Even if that was true, what would give that one Indigenous person the authority to sanction such a thing on behalf of all the Native American Nations anyways? Just because one hypothetical Native American person said it was okay (especially after presumably getting a nice little commission for it) wouldn’t make any of it right. Such ridiculousness cannot and should not be justified in any way

    • MissMarierose says:

      It’s not true. It’s BS made up to justify the name after the fact.

  14. Cheryl says:

    It’s ridiculous that it took a major corporation threatening to pull sponsorship to make this change, rather than the thousands of Indigenous people protesting and fighting tooth and nail for decades for this change to happen. As an Indigenous person, they ain’t getting my praise.