After decades of saying they'll never change a team name considered by many to be a slur against Native Americans, the Washington Redskins announced Friday they'll reconsider. People familiar with the team's talks with NFL officials, including Commissioner Roger Goodell, said a process is being set up for the review. "It will end with a new name," one of them said. A team statement said, "This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field." Owner Dan Snyder had said he'd never change the team name and mascot. "Dan has been listening to different people over the last number of weeks," one person said.
Large investors have begun pressuring brands to end their deals with the team. One of them, Nike, seems to have pulled team products from its online store on Thursday night, per ESPN. Another, PepsiCo, issued a statement Friday welcoming the team's decision. "We believe it is time for a change," a spokesperson said. FedEx agreed. Pressure on the team had been building even before the current national discussion of racism; arriving in Minneapolis for a game last October, Washington was greeted by several hundred protesters. On Thursday, a school district outside Cincinnati decided to change the name and mascot of Anderson High School. A new name hasn't been chosen yet. (An editorial this month said that if the Washington team won't change the name, the NFL should.)