Report: FedEx Could End Stadium Deal If Washington NFL Team Doesn't Change Name

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistJuly 10, 2020

FILE - In this Nov. 17, 2019, file photo, FedEx Field is seen in this general view during the National Anthem prior to an NFL football game between the New York Jets and Washington Redskins, in Landover, Md. There were more than 20,000 empty seats for the Redskins’ last home game, and when many of them have been filled this season, it’s with fans of the visiting team. It could be even emptier Sunday when the 1-9 Redskins host the 3-6-1 Detroit Lions. (AP Photo/Mark Tenally, File)
Mark Tenally/Associated Press

FedEx has reportedly informed the Washington NFL franchise that it intends to remove its signage from the stadium following the 2020 season if the team does not change its nickname.

According to Liz Clarke of the Washington Post, FedEx sent Washington Football Inc. a two-page letter July 2 to inform the organization of its plans should Washington decide against coming up with a new team name.

Washington and FedEx signed a 27-year, $205 million stadium naming rights deal in 1999. Washington is set to enter its 21st year playing at FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, and its 24th year at the stadium overall, which was called Jack Kent Cooke Stadium from 1997 to 1999.

Per Clarke, a source who read the letter summarized the contents, in which FedEx said the team name could harm the company's "brand reputation" and is "inconsistent with its commitment to a more inclusive society."

FedEx also wrote that Washington's team name goes against its "people-first philosophy," according to Clarke.

FedEx made a public statement about its stance on Washington's team name July 2: "We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name."

Shortly after FedEx's statement, the NFL franchise released a statement of its own to announce its intention to conduct a "thorough review" of the name:

Washington Redskins @Redskins


Team sponsors Nike, PepsiCo and Walmart have also spoken out against the team name and called for a change.

With pressure mounting, NFL Network's Ian Rapoport reported last week that Washington is "likely" to change its name.

Team owner Dan Snyder, who bought the franchise in 1999, has long been against a name change. The tide seems to be turning, though, as new head coach Ron Rivera said last week that he and Snyder have been discussing possible new names.

Rivera added that it would be "awesome" if Washington is able to finalize a new name before the start of the 2020 season in September.