The weeks since the murder ofGeorge Floydat the hands of Minneapolis police officers have seen the U.S. confronting issues with race in ways the country never has before, including making someswift changes to everything from lawsto monuments tobrand mascots. And some of these changes have included major retailers across the country deciding to pull incendiary products, includingcertain state flagsor attire emblazoned withcontroversial phrases. Now, Walmart and Target are pulling more controversial items from their stores bydropping all apparel and merchandise related to the Washington NFL teamaspressure mounts for them to change their namedue to its offensiveness and insensitivity to Indigenous communities.
But Walmart and Target arenot the first major retailersto stop stocking goods featuring the Washington-based NFL team. While controversy over the team’s moniker has roiled for decades, these major moves came quickly after a group of minority investors in the Washington football franchise sent a letter to major sponsors, including Nike, FedEx, and PepsiCo., asking them to sever financial ties with the team until the name was changed. By July 2, Nike—the official game day uniform supplier of the NFL—had dropped all of the team’s merchandise from their online store, NBC Sports reported. “We have been talking to the NFL andsharing our concerns regarding the nameof the Washington team,” a company spokesperson said in a statement on July 3.
Mounting pressure appears to be having an effect on ownership. Team ownerDan Snydersaid in a statement on July 3 that “in light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community … the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.” He added: “This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.” And for more on how things are changing at the country’s biggest retailers, check outWalmart Will Finally Stop Locking Up This One Product After Years.