The stakes have been raised in the Redskins name changing fight
If you can’t get to the king, you take out the rest of his pieces. That is what investors of Nike, FedEx, and PepsiCo are hoping to do. The have reportedly written letters asking these companies to terminate their partnership with the Washington Redskins unless they change their name.
According to AdWeek the investor letter is led by First Peoples Worldwide, Oneida Nation Trust Enrollment Committee, Trillium Asset Management, LLC Boston Common Asset Management, LLC Boston Trust Walden Mercy Investment Services, and First Affirmative Financial Network. The firms and shareholders are worth $620 billion collectively.
We have been down this road before with owner Daniel Snyder with him saying back in 2013 that he will “never change the name” of the team. Indigenous groups have even sued the franchise and lost their cases.
The debate surrounding the name has gained steam as the fight for social justice and racial equity hit the streets after the assassinations of unarmed black men and women the past few months. We have already seen businesses re-branding items that have had racist connotations and even Roger Goodell finally acknowledging the NFL screwed the pooch when it came to Colin Kaepernick.
One person that could be the most influential to getting Mr. Snyder to change the team name is Frederick Smith. Who is this you ask? Mr. Smith is a part of the ownership group and is chairman, president, and chief executive officer of FedEx. Yes, you read that right. He is the head of a company that the letter from investors is going to. If he starts feeling pressure from investors and his board of directors, he will have no choice but to approach Mr. Snyder about changing the name.
Only time will tell if Mr. Snyder gives it. But, it is not something that will likely happen overnight if it does. This is something that will cost tens of millions to re-brand, copyright patents, and other advertising adjustment expenses that could hit the valuation of the team if done wrong.
Report: Investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion have asked Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to end their relationships with the Redskins unless the team changes its name.
— NBC Sports Washington Football (@NBCSWASFootball) July 1, 2020