FexEx, whose name is on the Washington stadium and whose founder owns part of the team, has asked the team to change its name. The movement that has been trying to change the name for years has applauded the development.
“Change the Mascot praises FedEx and fully supports its historic request for Washington’s NFL team to stop using the R-word racial slur as its name and mascot,” Change the Mascot leader Ray Halbritter said in a statement. “FedEx is rising to the moment and doing the decent thing by challenging the team to stop disparaging and denigrating people of color by maintaining a team name that is an offensive racist epithet.
“In the past, the team has absurdly claimed that it will not stop slurring people of color because it is a matter of ‘tradition.’ However, that tradition includes a harmful term that dehumanizes Native peoples. The team’s founder George Preston Marshall was an avowed segregationist. Now that memorials to him are being removed, there can be no further justification to clinging to this hateful relic.
“The time to change the name is now, and we urge NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell and team owner Dan Snyder to recognize this seminal moment in American history, do the right and decent thing, and finally change the name.”
The ball is in Snyder’s court, now that Smith’s company has spoken out. But Snyder has remained out of view and silent on the issue, ever since Snyder declared seven years ago, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
The reality is that time is ticking toward never o’clock, and FedEx’s statement from Thursday moved the hands faster in that direction than any other development ever has.