A group of investment firms are calling on three major Washington Redskins sponsors to end their business relationships with the Redskins unless the team changes its name.
Adweek reported Nike, Pepsico and FedEx received letters signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders calling for them to disassociate from the Redskins due to their name. It’s the latest pressure the team has faced in recent weeks amid a social justice movement that has happened in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death.
The investment firms are worth a collective $620 billion, according to Adweek. Those who have signed on include: First Peoples Worldwide, Oneida Nation Trust Enrollment Committee, Trillium Asset Management, LLC Boston Common Asset Management, LLC Boston Trust Walden Mercy Investment Services and First Affirmative Financial Network.
In the letter to Nike, the firms urged the apparel company to “to meet the magnitude of this moment” and sever ties with the Redskins.
“The NFL’s Washington D.C. team still uses a racist name as its mascot,” the letter reads. “‘Redskins’ remains a de-humanizing word characterizing people by skin color and a racial slur with hateful connotations. Virtually every major national American Indian organization has denounced use of Indian and Native related images, names and symbols disparaging or offending American Indian peoples, with over 2,000 academic institutions eliminating ‘Indian’ sports references.”
Nike and Pepsico declined to comment to Adweek. FedEx, whose CEO (Frederick Smith) is part of the Redskins’ ownership group, referred all inquiries to the Redskins.
The Redskins have not commented on the renewed pressure to change their name, but owner Dan Snyder vowed in 2013 to “never” change it.