Daniel Snyder must have spilled some Pepsi on the Nike watch that arrived via FedEx, because the damn thing now says it’s all caps never o’clock.
Two days after $620 billion in investment pressure was applied to three key sponsors and a day after two of them made their position on the matter clear, Washington has announced that it will launch a review of its name. It seems to be an obvious precursor to changing it.
Indeed, Snyder defiantly insisted more than seven years ago that the name would never change. The mere fact that the team is considering the possibility represents a giant step toward doing it.
“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” the team said in its statement. “This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.”
It had not been reported or disclosed that the league has been talking to the team about the issue in recent weeks. That information makes it even more apparent that the next statement, whenever it comes, will be that the name is changing.
“Dan Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, stated, ‘This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field.'”
Two of the sponsors biggest already have said what they need to say (or, in Nike’s case, done what they need to do). And the NFL wouldn’t have been discussing the issue with Snyder if the NFL was fine with it.
Curiously, Snyder list of constituents omits express reference to players and coaches. For obvious financial reasons, they haven’t spoken out publicly. Snyder should ask them for their views on the matter, now that the ball is on the tee. The head coach already has dropped a fairly large hint.
Said coach Ron Rivera in the statement issued by the team: “This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our military.”
The statement does not explain how the military has any relevance to the issue. It could be a hint that the next name will be something that honors and supports the nation’s military.
Regardless, it’s happening. Unless Snyder is simply looking for the most awkward way to make it all worse, today’s announcement is the first major step toward finally landing on the right side of history.