Investors put pressure on Nike, FedEx & Pepsi to end association with Washington Redskins

Washington Redskins may be headed for tough times as investors are pushing pressure on brands to convince the team to drop the controversial name.

Three separate letters signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders worth a collective $620 billion have asked Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to end their association with the NFL’s Washington Redskins unless the team agrees to change its controversial name.

However, this isn’t the first time the Washington franchise has come under fire for the name of the team, but owner Dan Snyder said in 2013 that he would never change it. In today’s climate, with protests against racism happening around the world, Native American leaders and advocates are taking the opportunity to again nudge Washington towards a new name.

“This is a broader movement now that’s happening that Indigenous peoples are part of,” Carla Fredericks, director of First Peoples Worldwide, told Adweek. “Indigenous peoples were sort of left out of the civil rights movement in the late 1960s in many respects, because our conditions were so dire on reservations and our ability to engage publicly was very limited because of that. With social media now, obviously everything is very different.”

The letter to Nike reads: “We appreciate that Nike has spoken up in support of the protests stating ‘Systemic racism and the events that have unfolded across America over the past few weeks serve as an urgent reminder of the continued change needed in our society. The Nike, Inc. family can always do more but will never stop striving to role model how a diverse company acts.

“However, Nike continues to provide uniforms and equipment to the Washington D.C. NFL football team which bears the logo and name. Further, it produces and sells thousands of jerseys and other apparel with the team’s racist name and logo. This association with and facilitation of the racism inherent in the name and logo runs contrary to the very sentiments expressed by the company.”

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