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FedEx asks Washington NFL team to change name

Photo by Madeline Chappell.

More than 20 years ago, FedEx paid $205 million for the naming rights to FedEx Field, where the Washington NFL team plays its home games. Yesterday, the shipping giant joined the growing chorus of fans, sponsors and leaders calling on the team to ditch its racist name, according to multiple media reports.

“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” FedEx said in a statement.

The stadium naming rights deal will last until 2025. Frederick Smith, the chairman, CEO and president of FedEx Corp., also owns a minority stake in the Redskins.

FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo, all sponsors of the team, each received letters from investment firms and shareholders worth a combined $620 billion asking the companies to sever ties with the team unless it changes its controversial name, Adweek reported Wednesday.

On Thursday night, Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store. As of Friday morning, a search of “Packers” on Nike.com returns a variety of jerseys and other apparel; a search of the Washington team name turns up no results.

About 80 Indigenous people and allies protested outside Lambeau Field in Green Bay last year when the Washington team visited.