Daniel Snyder once imperiously proclaimed he would “never” change the name of the Washington Redskins team that he owns in the NFL.
But after major corporate sponsors threatened to pull back their millions of dollars, Snyder is singing a very different tune. In fact, the new tune will no longer include the name “Redskins,” but another nickname that will be unveiled on Monday, July 13, according to USA Today Sports.
Before this era of racial reckoning, Snyder was both defiant and obstinate about the Redskins name change. He justified keeping the Redskins name by claiming it was not a slur, but a tribute to Native American people. He even pointed to a 2016 Washington Post poll that stated 9 out of 10 Natives did not consider it offensive, though other tribes lampooned the veracity and authenticity of that research.
But money — not research or humanity or morality — became the driving force behind the decision to permanently retire and change the Washington franchise name. When a group of investors began to encourage Fortune 500 companies, including Nike, Pepsi and FedEx, to break away from the team that represents the District of Columbia, it caused rumblings that reverberated to the top of the franchise food chain.
The minority owners petitioned the majority owner, which is Snyder, from a fiscal standpoint. After remaining resolute for years and withstanding the rough winds of change, Snyder finally buckled and acquiesced to the wishes of the minority owners, including the president of FedEx exec, who has a stake in the team.
According to USA Today, head coach Ron Rivera, who is Hispanic, said he hopes the team’s new nickname will pay homage to Native Americans and the military, though he did not elaborate on how that could be accomplished.