AMERICAN FOOTBALL team the Washington Redskins have announced they are ditching the franchise’s controversial nickname.
The NFL side has come in for criticism over its continued use of the moniker of Redkins, which has long been recognised as a racist slur against Native Americans.
Owner Dan Snyder had previously rebuffed any suggestion of dropping the name, despite decades of anti-racism campaigning against it.
His stance subsequently changed, however, after several major sponsors, including Nike and Pepsi, began to express concern over the name.
FedEx also threatened to terminate a lucrative naming rights deal for the Jack Kent Cooke Stadium.
The franchise announced earlier this month that the branding would be dropped pending a review.
That review was concluded after just 10 days, with the Washington NFL side set to now begin work on finding a new nickname and logo for the franchise.
They said in a statement: “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.”
An offensive term like the "Redskins" would never even be considered as a name for a pro sports team today, says Navajo Nation president Jonathan Nez: "Today we are moving forward in a positive direction." https://t.co/VRFbNMWDtw pic.twitter.com/OOhrjQ60Fo
— CNN (@CNN) July 14, 2020
The statement continued: “(Owner) Dan Snyder and Coach (Ron) 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.”
It marks a remarkable turnaround Snyder, who had previously told USA Today: “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER – you can use caps.”
The decision could have far reaching implications for American football and several other nicknames in the sport that have been deemed derogatory or offensive.
Notre Dame University are facing increasing scrutiny in Irish-American circles over their use of the nickname “The Fighting Irish” and the fact their mascot is a leprechaun.