More retailers joined Nike in pulling Washington Redskins merchandise from their online shops after the team said Friday it would undergo a thorough review of its name.
As of Monday morning, links to the Washington Redskins’ team landing page on both Walmart ‘s (ticker: WMT) and Target’s (TGT) websites did not return any results. Walmart said following the team’s announcement on Friday it would discontinue the sale of items that reference the name and logo. A Target representative confirmed to Barron’s that such team merchandise was removed from its website.
Around noon on Monday, the team name was still listed on Dick’s Sporting Goods’ (DKS) NFL fan shop. But clicking on the relevant link takes users to the main NFL fan shop landing page while clicking on other teams’ links brought up relevant merchandise. A company representative did not immediately return Barron’s request seeking comment.
Given today’s announcement by the NFL and the Washington team’s ownership, we are discontinuing the sale of items that reference the team’s name and logo. https://t.co/LtT7m7H3we— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) July 3, 2020
Sports fans and team owners have grappled with the idea that some names and imagery associated with franchises like the Cleveland Indians and Washington Redskins is offensive to Native Americans. The Indians retired its Chief Wahoo logo in 2018 and said on Friday it was “committed to engaging our community and appropriate stakeholders to determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”
The latest push comes amid social justice efforts that are gaining traction following nationwide protests in response to the death of George Floyd in police custody. According to a report from Adweek, letters signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders valued at a combined $620 billion urged Nike (NKE), FedEx (FDX), and PepsiCo (PEP) to end business relationships with the Washington team unless it changed its name.
FedEx, which holds the naming rights to the Washington Redskin’s NFL stadium through 2025, asked the team to change its name, according to ESPN. PepsiCo said it’s been in discussions with the team and the NFL, adding it believed it was time for a change.
Multiple outlets reported late last week that Washington Redskins merchandise was no longer visible on Nike’s official site. Apparel that uses the Redskins name, like jerseys, hats, and T-shirts, was still available on the NFL’s official online store.
“We have been talking to the NFL and sharing our concerns regarding the name of the Washington team. We are pleased to see the team taking a first step toward change,” a Nike representative told Barron’s.
The team, citing recent events and feedback from its community, said on Friday that it’ll review the name. The team added that it’s been having such discussions with the league in recent weeks.
“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,” Dan Synder said in a news release.