Whatever the next name is for the Washington Redskins, the logo associated with it will not contain American Indian imagery, according to ESPN.
NFL insider Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that the Redskins will move away from such imagery if and when they change their name, citing a league source. Washington, according to the network, is still planning on keeping its burgundy-and-gold color scheme.
The Redskins feature an American Indian head in braids and feathers in their current logo. The concept, used since 1972, was proposed by Walter Wetzel, a former president of the National Congress of American Indians.
The news comes amid pressure for the Redskins to embrace a full rebranding. Last week, Amanda Blackhorse and Carla Fredericks, two American Indian activists who have consistently called on Washington to change its name, told The Washington Times that a simple name change while keeping the team’s logo would not be acceptable.
“They need a complete rebrand,” said Blackhorse, the lead plaintiff in the 2006 trademark case against the team’s name. “Leave Native American imagery and references out of it.”
“It needs to be a total commitment to address the decades of wrong that have been perpetuated by the name and mascot,” Fredericks said.
Redskins coach Ron Rivera told The Washington Post last week that the team’s next name needs to be “respectful” toward American Indians and a tribute to the military. There is no timeline for when Washington will reach the conclusion of its review, but the organization said last week that “will be conducted with the best interest of all in mind.”
On Monday, a group of American Indian activists and leaders issued a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell urging him to force Washington to change its name and imagery. In the letter, the group writes they are “deeply concerned” that Washington’s review will be done without discussion featuring American Indian voices.
The Redskins have also faced pressure from corporate America, with retailers like Nike, Walmart, Target and Amazon pulling team memorabilia from their websites. FedEx, the team’s naming rights partner, also called on the Redskins to change their name last Thursday, a day before Washington announced its review.
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