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Washington NFL team to retire Redskins name

The Washington Redskins have used the nickname since 1971 but said Monday it will be retired. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI
The Washington Redskins have used the nickname since 1971 but said Monday it will be retired. File Photo by Kevin Dietsch/UPI | License Photo

July 13 (UPI) -- The Washington Redskins announced Monday they will retire their controversial nickname and Native American branding.

The team made the announcement in a statement Monday morning. The NFC East franchise announced July 3 that it would "undergo a thorough review" of its nickname, for which it has long received criticism as discriminatory toward Native Americans.

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"Today, we are announcing that we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review," the team said in a statement.

Washington plans to reveal a new name immediately due to a trademark issue. The statement Monday didn't specify when the new name would be announced, but said it will "enhance the standing of our proud tradition-rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years."

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The team is no longer expected to use any Native American imagery but plans to retain its burgundy and gold colors.

The team has had the Redskins nickname since 1971.

Washington's decision to change the name comes amid pressure from several sponsors. FedEx Corp. -- who holds the naming rights for the team's stadium -- requested a team name change July 2. FedEx President, Chairman and CEO Frederick Smith owns a minority stake in the Redskins.

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FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo each received letters signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders worth more than $600 billion asking the companies to disassociate from the NFL franchise unless it changes the controversial nickname. Some retailers, including Amazon and Walmart, have also stopped selling team merchandise.

"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," Redskins owner Dan Snyder said last week.

Washington has had "internal discussions" about a name change for the past month.

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