Late Thursday, in a coordinated move by multiple corporate sponsors, the Washington Redskins team name came under fire again. FedEx, whose name is on the stadium where the ‘Skins play, announced that they no longer supported the mascot. Almost simultaneously, Nike dropped all Washington merchandise from its online store. Friday morning, the team announced it was conducting an internal review of the situation. Many media outlets are reporting that means a change is already in the works, but so far it remains unsourced. Last quarter Nike swung to a surprise loss, dramatically underperforming Wall Street expectations. The company’s worst region was North America, with a 46% drop in sales. It is unclear how long they can afford to keep one of football’s most recognizable logos away from customers.
Later Friday, the Cleveland Indians from Major League Baseball, said they too were undertaking a review of their name. These moves will put pressure on other franchises featuring American Indian mascots, including the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks, and Kansas City Chiefs, the defending Super Bowl champions.