Investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion asked team sponsors Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to end their relationship with Washington’s football team over its “Redskins” name, according to Mary Emily O’Hara of Adweek.
Per O’Hara’s report, the brands each received a letter signed by 87 investors urging them to cut ties unless the team’s controversial name was changed. The topic has gained momentum in recent weeks in the aftermath of the police killing of George Floyd in Minnesota, and the worldwide protests that followed.
On June 24, Washington removed a marble monument of team founder George Preston Marshall, who opposed integrating the team. Marshall was the last owner in the league to integrate his team.
The investment groups appealed to PepsiCo after the brand removed the Aunt Jemima image from its syrup. They also praised Nike for its relationship with Colin Kaepernick, but pointed out Nike’s role in providing uniforms and equipment to Washington.
None of the brands, nor the team, responded to Adweek’s request for comment.
On Wednesday, John Falcicchio, deputy mayor of Washington, D.C., said there was no scenario in which Washington team owner Dan Snyder would be allowed to build a new stadium on the federally owned RFK Stadium site unless he changes the team’s name.
“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,” Falcicchio said, according to Liz Clarke of The Washington Post.
Added Eleanor Holmes Norton, the District’s nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives: “I call on Dan Snyder once again to face that reality, since he does still desperately want to be in the nation’s capital. He has got a problem he can’t get around—and he particularly can’t get around it today, after the George Floyd killing.”
Washington currently plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Md. Its lease on the land the stadium resides is set to expire after the 2027 season.
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