Pressure from sponsors like FedEx and Nike got the ball rolling. Within the confines of the NFL, however, one man played a key role in convincing Washington owner Daniel Snyder to finally change his team’s name.
Per a source with knowledge of the situation, Commissioner Roger Goodell pushed Snyder “very hard” to make the change. Goodell had tried to nudge Snyder toward a change in the past. Goodell seized the current moment to go “full force” toward persuading Snyder to make the change.
It’s never easy for the Commissioner to push back against one of the people who employ him. In this specific case, it was a no-brainer. Moreover, Goodell’s decision to take the initiative by pushing Snyder made it easier for the other owners to avoid the awkward task of telling one of their partners what to do.
The formal decision by the team to announce that the name will be retired but that it will remain in place until a new name is selected may have taken some in the league office, including Goodell, by surprise. The current posture simply isn’t sustainable for more than a week or so. At the very latest, the old name must be gone before training camp opens.
The sooner the change is made, the better. And if Goodell truly was pushing Snyder aggressively to make the change, Goodell surely will push Snyder to finish the job sooner than later.