The Washington Redskins, three-time Super Bowl winners, are to drop their controversial name after intense pressure from major sponsors.
The NFL team first adopted the name in 1933, when the franchise was still based in Boston, but now they are conducting an internal review to come up with a new name for the team.
For years, the team has attracted criticism for their name, which is regarded as offensive by native American Indians and a racial slur. Six years ago, after a complaint by the Oneida Indian tribe, shareholders of FedEx, a major sponsor of the team which also has stadium naming rights, voted that they should be allowed to keep the name.
However, this time, in the light of the debate over racial equality in the US and globally, the tide has shifted and the name has to go, with not only FedEx, but also Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America all lining-up against the Redskins.
Nike stopped selling the team’s merchandise through its online store, and major retailers like Amazon, Walmart and Target have now followed suit.
Team owner Daniel Snyder had previously vowed to keep the historic name, but he has now had to cave in, and the hunt is on for a new one, with “Warriors” one of the leading candidates at the moment.
The change will not be made immediately though. The Redskins have until the start of the 2020 season, which is due to get underway at the end of August, start of September, to decide on their new nomenclature.
They are by no means the only team that have been forced to consider changing their name in the US now. MLB (Major League Baseball) team, the Cleveland Indians, have also been forced into a similar review.
Meanwhile, two best-selling country music groups have also changed their names because their former appellations were too strongly associated with the now discredited Confederate South. The Dixie Chicks have simply become The Chicks, whilst Lady Antebellum is now known as Lady A.