Nike Appears to Remove All Washington NFL Team Apparel from Online Store

Timothy Rapp@@TRappaRTFeatured ColumnistJuly 3, 2020

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 15: Free safety Dashon Goldson #38 of the Washington Redskins signs his jersey for another player after playing  against the New Orleans Saints at FedExField on November 15, 2015 in Landover, Maryland. The Washington Redskins won, 47-14. (Photo by Patrick Smith/Getty Images)
Patrick Smith/Getty Images

There have been renewed efforts to have the Washington NFL team change its nickname, with FedEx—who sponsors the team's stadium—calling for a new name Thursday. 

Nike, which supplies the NFL with uniform and sideline apparel, may also be putting the pressure on Washington. The shoe and sporting goods giant has appeared to remove all team merchandise from its online store:

The moves by FedEx and Nike don't come as a surprise after "three separate letters signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion asked Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to terminate their business relationships with [Washington] unless the team agrees to change its controversial name," per Mary Emily O'Hara of Adweek.

FedEx has naming rights of Washington's stadium through the 2025 season after paying $205 million in 1998. The connection between the two entities runs deeper—FedEx chairman, CEO and president, Frederick Smith, also owns a minority stake in the football team. 

If the franchise ever wants to build a new stadium at the site of the current RFK Stadium, the District of Columbia's delegate to the House of Representatives, Eleanor Holmes Norton, said it'll need to change the name, per Liz Clarke of the Washington Post.

D.C. Deputy Mayor John Falcicchio agreed.

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"There is no viable path, locally or federally, for the Washington football team to return to Washington, D.C., without first changing the team name," he said. 

The nickname has long been considered to be racist by its critics given that it is an offensive term used as a pejorative against Native Americans. 

Despite years of pressure to change the name, owner Daniel Snyder has steadfastly insisted to this point that it would never happen. 

"We'll never change the name," he told USA Today in 2013. "It's that simple. NEVER—you can use caps."

With the financial implications of that stubbornness potentially mounting, however, Snyder may need to reconsider his position. 

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