KSL UNRIVALED

Unrivaled: Money Was Driving Force Behind Washington NFL Team Name Change

Jul 14, 2020, 2:33 PM | Updated: Jul 15, 2020, 12:35 pm

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - JULY 13: A worker carries building materials into the Hall of Fame Store at Fe...

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - JULY 13: A worker carries building materials into the Hall of Fame Store at FedEx Field, home of the NFL's Washington Redskins team, July 13, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. The team announced Monday that owner Daniel Snyder and coach Ron Rivera are working on finding a replacement for its racist name and logo after 87 years. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Washington “Redskins” name has been cut from the NFL’s vocabulary. Despite decades of protests against the racially charged mascot, it took sponsors threatening to pull dollars for the team to drop the name.

Daniel Snyder, the team’s owner, said back in 2013 that nothing would change his mind about renaming his Washington football club.

“We will never change the name of the team,” Snyder told USA TODAY Sports. “As a lifelong Redskins fan, and I think that the Redskins fans understand the great tradition and what it’s all about and what it means, so we feel pretty fortunate to be just working on next season.”

“We’ll never change the name,” he said. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”

Well, never reached its expiration date and Snyder is looking for a new team name for his Washington, D.C.-based franchise.

The pressure came from minority owners of the team and one that happens to be the CEO of FedEx which also bears the name on the side of the stadium. Nike, Amazon and Target removed their gear and the writing was on the wall.

Money Changes Things

There is no way Snyder could continue using the Redskins team name with the backlash and money clearly being lost, according to KSL Unrivaled. FedEx was trying to get out of its naming rights deal and if team apparel was being limited in national chains, the time had come.

KSL Sports’ Alex Kirry pointed this out on KSL Unrivaled as the press release regarding the name change made a clear point to mention sponsors.

“Every time they keep mentioning the name, they kept wanting to change the name they kept saying, ‘the sponsors, sponsors, and sponsors.’ It is because of just money in general,” Kirry said. “It was just resounding to me that they couldn’t help but put it in their press release and it was like, ‘money, money, money and that is the reason we are changing this.’

“I know it looks like an OK thing but socially and culturally this should have been talked about a long time ago. Having the hand forced is fine but saying right off the bat saying it is a money situation shows what it really is.”

There was one final jab from the Washington team in the press release. Despite saying Washington is retiring the team name, they still had seven mentions of “Redskins” in the tweet.

 

What Is In A Mascot Name?

The name of a pro sports franchise is to celebrate the area the team is from but sometimes the name doesn’t match the city. The Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Lakers are prime examples as the Jazz were originally from New Orleans and the Lakers from Minneapolis – the former locations make more sense than the current.

The Washington team name never made a ton of sense for many reasons, they first were the Boston Braves then changed to the mascot name to the “Redskins” and the name changed when the team moved from Boston to Washington, D.C., in 1937.

KSL Sports’ Scott Mitchell offered his thoughts on names and logos on KSL Unrivaled. He thinks the Washington nickname was more of the history of the team, coaches, and players that played for that club. However, he acknowledged that the former name is offensive.

“I have always looked at this as something that is a term of endearment or a badge of honor. I have never looked at a mascot as meaning or the intent of it as derogatory,” Mitchell said. “When it is a derogatory term – or is viewed in some circles as a derogatory – because that is really what the Redskins name actually is to people today.”

Plain and simple if the name is offensive it should be changed. What Mitchell thinks about Washington is the history of the program, plus he feels there is a chance for this rebrand to be a positive thing.

“Me personally, I never thought of it that way. I thought of Joe Gibbs, the hogs, Jon Riggins, I thought of winning Super Bowls and doing it with class,” Mitchell added. “I always looked at this whole organization as a class organization and not as one that is belittling or being disrespectful to people.

“I am not opposed to the Washington Redskins changing their name because of the der0ogative term it implies. I think there is an opportunity to really make a statement and move forward and have a powerful name that people can rally behind.”

The new team name is still being worked on – part of that is due to a trademark squatter who has gobbled up many of the names that Washington is likely looking at using.

Tune into KSL Unrivaled every Monday through Friday, 7-9 p.m., or download the KSL NewsRadio app to subscribe to the podcast

KSL Unrivaled

Nate-Johnson-Utah-Utes-Football-Touchdown...

Michelle Bodkin

Nate Johnson Discusses ‘Next Man Up’ Mentality As Utah Football’s Backup QB

Utah football's backup quarterback Nate Johnson was fourth on the depth chart at one point but has positioned himself as a key player.

14 days ago

Cam Rising - Utah Utes vs. Stanford Cardinal...

Jeremy Mauss

Unrivaled Digs Into Utah Football QB Cam Rising’s Game Week Comments

All offseason there have been questions about whether or not Utah quarterback Cam Rising will start against the Florida Gators in the season opener. 

28 days ago

Cam Rising dives during football game...

Michelle Bodkin

Florida Asked If Cam Rising Was Willing To Transfer, Per Gators Reporter

According to an AP reporter, Florida tested the waters on Utah quarterback Cam Rising to see if he would be interested in transferring.

29 days ago

Nate-Johnson-Utah-Utes-Football-Touchdown...

Jeremy Mauss

Utah Should Go With Upside At QB, Start Nate Johnson Against Florida

The biggest question surrounding Utah in fall camp and now in game week is about the health of the quarterback situation for the Utes.

1 month ago

Kyle-Whittingham-Utah-Utes-Rose-Bowl-Game-2022...

Jeremy Mauss

Harlan Talks Utah Football Scheduling In Big 12

Utah's move to the Big 12 will have an impact across all sports with the excitement of playing new teams and traveling to new cities.

1 month ago

Cam Rising - Utah Utes vs. UCLA 2...

Jeremy Mauss

Utah Football Recruiting May Get Best Of Both Worlds With Big 12 Move

Will Utah lose its recruiting stature in California now that they don't regularly play out West?

2 months ago

Sponsored Articles

3 kids wearing real salt lake jerseys smiling...

Real Salt Lake

6 Reasons You Need to Experience a RSL Matchday

RSL Games are a great way to spend time with your family with fun activities, good food, and traditions you can only experience at the field.

High angle view of the beautiful Rose Bowl Stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

How to Prepare for the 2023 Rose Bowl

Everything you need to know to plan your 2023 Rose Bowl trip in Pasadena, California. This year, the Utes will face Penn State.

Jordan-Clarkson-Utah-Jazz...

KSL Digital Sales

Notable Moments From The Utah Jazz Season… So Far

At the beginning of the season, the Utah Jazz were second to last. Now they rank in the top 10 teams in the Western Conference.

Football soccer ball on grass field on stadium...

KSL Digital Sales

Everything You Need to Know to Watch the 2022 World Cup

Find out where and when to watch the upcoming games and final match for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, including where to find live updates.

ksl sports logos...

KSL Sports

KSL Sports Newsletter: Sign Up Now

Sign up today for the KSL Sports newsletter. Get the latest Utah sports news delivered to your inbox.

jimmy-buffett-tour-art...

KSL Sports

Win Tickets Wednesday: Jimmy Buffett

Get your Hawaiian shirts ready.

Unrivaled: Money Was Driving Force Behind Washington NFL Team Name Change