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FedEx asks Redskins to change name, Nike reportedly removes team apparel from site

Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports / Reuters

FedEx has asked the Washington Redskins to find a new nickname.

"We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name," read a statement from the company, according to ABC 7 News.

FedEx, which owns the naming rights to the franchise's stadium, was one of three sponsors to receive a letter signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders asking them to cut ties with the Redskins unless they change their nickname. The other companies are Nike and PepsiCo.

Nike, which supplies Washington's uniforms and equipment, removed all Redskins gear from its website Thursday, according to Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk. It has also entirely omitted the franchise from its vertical drop-down menu for NFL team apparel.

FedEx gained Washington's stadium naming rights in 1999. It runs through 2025.

Frederick Smith, the founder of FedEx, is a Redskins minority owner.

Redskins owner Dan Snyder said in 2013: "We will never change the name of the team."

Snyder purchased the franchise and its current stadium in 1999.

The owner has been a target of criticism over the nickname controversy, which was highlighted by the social justice movement following the killing of George Floyd in police custody in May.

The team's name has been used by the franchise since its inaugural season in 1933 under the ownership of founder George Preston Marshall. Marshall, who refused to sign Black athletes for decades, had his name removed from the team's Ring of Fame days after his memorial outside of RFK Stadium was also removed.

It's been speculated that Washington could return to RFK Stadium if Snyder decides to give its franchise a new home. However, district officials recently said that Snyder won't have access to the federally owned land unless he changes the team's nickname.

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