Washington Redskins: FedEx asks team to change name after pressure from over 80 investor groups

Washington Redskins: FedEx asks team to change name after pressure from over 80 investor groups

“We informed the team in Washington of our request to change the team’s name,” FedEx told CNN Business in a statement.

The courier company – which sponsors and has the naming rights for the stadium where the Washington team plays – has issued its statement after more than 80 groups and shareholders investing in the company have sent a letter to FedEx CEO Frederick Smith calling on them to “end business and public relations” with the franchise because of the name.

Investors also sent similar messages to chief executives Nike (NKE), Who manufactures uniforms and equipment from the Native Americans, and Pepsi (PEP), Her partner in snacks and drinks. These two companies did not respond to CNN Business’s requests for comment.

CNN Business also contacted NFL and the team for comment.

In the letter to Smith, investors, who said they represented more than $ 620 billion in assets, pointed out that the word “Redskins” remained “an inhumane word that distinguishes people according to skin color and racial ambiguity with hateful connotations.”

They wrote “virtually every Indian-American national organization denounced the use of images, names, and symbols related to Indians and locals that offended or offended the Indo-American people, with the abolition of more than 2,000 academic institutions for” Indian “mathematical references.

“In light of the black life movement that focused the world’s attention on centuries of systemic racism, we are witnessing a new influx of opposition to the team’s name,” the investors wrote. “Therefore, it is time for FedEx to face the magnitude of this moment, to make clear its opposition to the name of the racist team, and to take concrete and meaningful steps to put pressure on the team to stop its use.”

The letters addressed to Nike and Pepsi that language. In the message he sent to Nike CEO, John Donahoe, for example, investors acknowledged that Nike had “taken steps to be more transparent about the diversity of its workforce.” Investors also noted that Nike “helped to keep the public conversation about systematic racism and police brutality” alive by launching an advertising campaign that included midfielder Colin Kibernick, who knelt during the national anthem to protest police brutality and racial injustice while playing in the league.

“However, Nike continues to provide costumes and equipment” to the NFL team in Washington, the investors said, adding that “this association with racism and its ease of name and logo are inconsistent with the sentiments expressed by the company.”

As of Thursday evening, Nike’s Redskins merchandise did not appear in Nike’s online store. Goods representing every other NFL team were listed, though. Nike did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

– Jill Martin contributed to this report.

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