Nike no longer features Washington Redskins gear on their website.
In what could very well be a sign of things to come, Nike may have joined FedEx in taking some form of moral high ground against Dan Snyder and the Washington football franchise. One look at the brand’s official website shows that Redskins gear has been removed in its entirety, with every other NFL team remaining.
Snyder’s previous insistence on keeping the offensive name has had purely financial motives, with rebranding deemed an impossible strategy from the Washington owner and his cronies. However, losing out on major sponsors wasn’t in the cards until now, which could very well change Snyder’s stance and force his hand.
Nike joins FedEx in applying pressure on Dan Snyder to change Washington Redskins name.
Snyder is notoriously stubborn in this department, and it will take more than just FedEx and Nike’s warning shots to truly make him punt on this erroneous fool’s errand. While most of the public, including Native American tribes, have opposed the team’s name for decades, Snyder has always found a way to sidestep public pressure by embracing any and all supporters, including those in the Native community who insist this isn’t a derogatory term.
Nonetheless, a slur, in any context, should not be used to describe a professional football team. Such an argument shouldn’t be a complicated one, and in a year where minorities have finally felt heard on the issues of racial inequality, taking down another public symbol of oppression just seems right.
Sure, rebranding isn’t cost-efficient, but neither is this much negative PR in opposition to one of the greatest movements of minority inclusion we’ve ever seen. By continuing to distance himself from the solution, Snyder is placing himself squarely on the wrong side of history and closer to moral bankruptcy and financial debt.