It's official: the Washington Redskins are finally dropping their controversial name and logo. The long-awaited move comes after years of objections to the NFL team's name, which the U.S. Trademark Trial and Appeal Board described in 2014 as insulting to a "substantial composite of Native Americans."
The team published the following statement on its website July 13:
On July 3rd, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team's name. 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.
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.
Redskins owner Dan Snyder once said he'd never change the name.
But the NFL team was up against considerable pressure both from social justice groups and from their own sponsors—including team stadium namesake FedEx, which requested the change, and sportswear giant Nike, which took all Redskins branded merchandise offline, eliminating a major stream of revenue.
The Washington Post reports that the team's website remains Redskins.com, the NFL"s official site still refers to the team as the “Washington Redskins" and that even Monday’s announcement was made on Redskins letterhead. The team will continue to use the "Redskins" name until a new name is announced, which could come in the next few weeks.
In an interview July 4, Coach Ron Rivera — who is working with owner Daniel Snyder to choose a name — said he hoped the new name would be in place by the start of the 2020 NFL season.
Sources with knowledge of the team’s plans told the Post that the preferred replacement name is still tied up in a trademark battle, which is why the team couldn’t announce the new name on July 13.