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Washington's NFL team will retire team name, announce new mascot at later date

EJ Smith, The Philadelphia Inquirer on

Published in Football

While it's unclear exactly what sparked Snyder's decision to change the team's name, it's worth noting the team's owner since 1999 has vehemently opposed a change in the past.

In 2013, Snyder told a USA Today reporter "we will never change the name. It's that simple. NEVER -- you can use caps."

While public opinion around the name has always been polarizing, the recent shift brought on by racial injustices in the country led to heightened scrutiny last month. That scrutiny led to pressure from sponsors to retire the name, with Nike taking all apparel with the nickname off its website and FedEx reportedly threatening to remove its signs from FedEx Field, where the team plays.

Pepsi joined in on the group, too, releasing a statement to point out the company's efforts to get the name changed through talks with the NFL and Washington's leaders.

Even though there was financial pressure, Washington was reportedly already in the process of exploring a name change, although the announcement of the "thorough review" came after the pressure was applied.

The decision was met with a positive reaction from Haskins, a Highland Park, N.J., native who grew up a Washington fan.

 

"As a kid who grew up in the (area) it'll always be (Hail to the Redskins) but looking forward to the future," Haskins posted on Twitter, sharing the team's official statement.

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