The National Football League’s Washington franchise will retire the Redskins name and logo that has been used since 1933.
The name has long been criticised as racist by Native American rights groups.
Team owner Dan Snyder, who bought the franchise in 1999, had said he would never change the name but softened his stance after FedEx Corp, which owns the naming rights to the team’s stadium, urged the NFL club to rebrand.
The team said on July 3 it would conduct a thorough review of the club’s name.
“Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review,” the team said in a statement.
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) July 13, 2020
Washington did not provide a timeline for when the review would be completed and the statement did not specify a reason for the name change.
Snyder and Ron Rivera, the team’s new head coach, “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,” the team said.
Redtails, Generals and Presidents have emerged as favourites.
Critics have ramped up pressure on the team to the name – widely seen as a racial slur against Native Americans – amid the nationwide reckoning on racism and police brutality.
In June, a group of more than 80 socially-minded investment firms urged FedEx, Nike Inc and PepsiCo Inc to terminate relationships with the team unless the name was changed .
PepsiCo and Nike both followed FedEx’s lead and said they welcomed the call for a review of the team’s name.
The team that became the Washington Redskins was founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves.
Its name was changed to the Redskins the following year and it moved to Washington in 1937.