A group of 87 investment firms and shareholders have signed three separate letters asking Nike, FedEx, and PepsiCo to terminate their business relationships with the Washington Redskins unless the franchise changes its name, according to Mary Emily O'Hara of AdWeek.
Nike provides uniforms and equipment to Washington, while FedEx owns the naming rights to the franchise's stadium. PepsiCo beverages are sold inside the venue.
Six investment groups are leading the push: First Peoples Worldwide, Oneida Nation Trust Enrollment Committee, Trillium Asset Management, LLC Boston Common Asset Management, LLC Boston Trust Walden Mercy Investment Services, and First Affirmative Financial Network.
The Redskins moniker has long been a subject of controversy, but Indigenous leaders are acting with renewed urgency in an effort to take advantage of the momentum of the social justice movement following the death of George Floyd in police custody, O'Hara adds.
"This is a broader movement now that's happening that Indigenous peoples are part of," said Carla Fredericks, the director of First Peoples Worldwide and University of Colorado Law School's American Indian Law Clinic.
"Indigenous peoples were sort of left out of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s in many respects, because our conditions were so dire on reservations and our ability to engage publicly was very limited because of that. With social media now, obviously everything is very different."
Washington has used the Redskins name since 1933. The team reportedly removed the name of founder George Preston Marshall, who refused to sign Black players during most of his 37-season tenure, from its Ring of Fame last week. Another statue of Marshall was removed from RFK Stadium a week earlier.
The site of RKF Stadium, where Washington played from 1961-96, is owner Dan Snyder's preferred location for a renovated stadium. Several district officials said Wednesday that Snyder won't have access to the federally owned land unless he changes the franchise's name.
"I call on Dan Snyder once again to face that reality, since he does still desperately want to be in the nation's capital," said Eleanor Holmes Norton, D.C.'s nonvoting delegate to the House of Representatives, according to The Washington Post's Liz Clarke. "He has got a problem he can't get around - and he particularly can't get around it today, after the George Floyd killing."