Nike and FedEx spearheaded the movement to discontinue selling Washington team merchandise on their websites until the organization changed its name. Washington is now considering changing the name of the franchise after playing as the Redskins since 1933. Owner Dan Snyder said last Friday that the team is officially reviewing the name and will share details of its findings on Monday. Whether Snyder will part with the Redskins moniker remains to be seen, though local media expects the franchise's name to change ahead of the 2020 season.
On Monday, three days after Nike discontinued selling team merchandise on its site, Walmart and Target have also stopped selling Washington gear on their sites, according to Barron's. A Target representative confirmed to the website that team merchandise has been removed from its website. Walmart issued a public statement on Friday, shortly after Snyder's team-issued statement detailing the new status of his team's name.
"Given today's announcement by the NFL and the Washington team's ownership, we are discontinuing the sale of items that reference the team's name and logo."
While it's unclear when Target and Walmart would resume re-selling Washington team merchandise, it's safe to assume that that won't happen until the team changes names. That is the current game plan as it relates to Nike, as a source at Nike recently told The Athletic that the company "will not feature Washington gear until the team name is changed." The report added that Nike anticipates a change soon "because it would take time for them to remake the jerseys and provide them to distributors."
While he said that he would support a name change, Washington coach Ron Rivera would not disclose some of the options that are currently on the table as it relates to what Washington's new name could be. CBS Sports NFL writer Jared Dubin recently created a list of possible name options for Washington. Washington would not become the first NFL franchise to change names. Far from it, actually, as more than a fourth of NFL teams have overseen a name change during the league's first 100 years.
In fact, this wouldn't be the first time Washington's franchise has changed names. The team spent its inaugural season as the Boston Braves before changing its name to "Redskins" prior to the start of the 1933 season. The team has kept that name ever since, but now it appears that the franchise will undergo a third name change before the start of the upcoming season.
Washington isn't the only pro sports franchise that is currently considering a name change. Cleveland's Major League Baseball team has also announced that they are discussing changing names. Like Rivera, Cleveland manager Terry Francona recently said that he would support a name change.
Rivera, who is entering his first season as Washington's head coach, is hoping that the team can integrate a new name sooner rather than later.
"If we get it done in time for the season," Rivera said, "it would be awesome."