Washington's NFL team officially retires name and logo after sponsor backlash

Key Points
  • The NFL team in Washington, D.C., announced Monday that it will retire its former name and logo after a backlash from sponsors and retail partners in recent weeks.
  • The team did not reveal a new name and logo.
  • Team owner Dan Snyder had previously said he would not change the name.

In this article

Washington's NFL team announces it will change name for 2020 season

The National Football League team in Washington, D.C., said Monday it is dropping the name it has used for more than 87 years, bowing to pressure from advertisers and critics who complained it was demeaning to Native Americans.

A new name was not announced.

The organization, which had its name since 1932, launched a review of its name after partners and sponsors began to criticize the team for failing to acknowledge the sensitivity regarding the name and logo to Native Americans.   

"We want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward," the team said in a statement. "Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review. Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years."

Sponsors including Bank of America, Nike, Pepsi and FedEx, which owns the naming rights to the team's home stadium in Maryland, all came out against the previous team name. FedEx bought naming rights to FedEx Field in 1998 for $205 million in a deal that runs through 2025. Frederick Smith, the FedEx CEO, is a minority owner of the team. Last week, tech giant Amazon also pulled merchandise from its site, joining mega retailers Walmart and Target.

Fanatics, which has exclusive licensing rights to manufacture and distribute Nike-branded NFL merchandise, told CNBC it will continue to sell the Washington team's merchandise with the original name and logos at reduced prices until its inventory runs out.

Team owner Dan Snyder had previously said he will never change the name, telling USA Today in 2013: "It's that simple. NEVER — you can use caps." But Snyder changed his stance following social unrest in the country after George Floyd's death on May 25.

--CNBC's Jessica Golden contributed to this report.

Amazon pulls Washington Redskins merchandise from its site