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The Washington Redskins made the decision to retire the Redskins name and logo Monday

PHOTO CREDITS: NATION AND STATE

According to USA Today, the Washington Redskins made the decision to retire the Redskins name and logo at the end of an ongoing review. The team has yet to announce a new name or logo, though oddsmakers on BetOnline think the franchise may go with a name like the RedWolves, the RedTails, the Generals, or the Warriors. Coach Ron Rivera, speaking about the name change, stated that he would like the franchise to change the name in honor of the military (Los Angeles Times). The team had begun the review of the name on July 3rd, after receiving pressure from corporate sponsors including FedEx, Nike, and PepsiCo to change their name (ABC News). Some stores, including Nike and Amazon, were noted to have removed the team’s merchandise from their online stores in protest (CNN). ~

With the Black Lives Matter movement bringing racial injustice to the forefront of mainstream media in recent months, the Washington football team made the move amid corporate and cultural pressure regarding the Redskins name. There have been calls for the Washington Redskins to change their team name since 1971, including two unsuccessful lawsuits against the team, with Native American activists fighting for decades to remove offensive usage of Native imagery from sports. The reason for these calls stems from Native groups who claim the name actively perpetuates racism, and hurts the Native American community (USA Today). ~

For years, Snyder, the owner of the team, argued that the name was a meaningful part of the team’s history, dating back to the early days of the NFL (USA Today). The name was originally chosen in 1933 when founder George Preston Marshall changed it from “Boston Braves” to “Redskins” in order to avoid confusion with the baseball team (CNN). Critics of the name change suggest that the team is ignoring history, or trying to be “politically correct” (ABC News). These critics also point to the logo as a symbol honoring Native Americans, and point to the logo’s creator, Native American Walter “Blackie” Wetzel, who designed the logo to depict a member of the Blackfeet tribe. ~

Other teams are also facing criticism for their names, including the Kansas City Chiefs, Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, and Cleveland Indians. Cleveland is noted to be conducting a review of their name; Atlanta and Chicago have announced that they will not be changing their names (ABC). ~

ARTICLE: DANIEL ENGLAND

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