Walmart is pulling Washington Redskins merchandise from its shelves after the team agreed to review its name after intense backlash.
On Friday, July 3, the NFL team announced that it will be conducting a “thorough review” of the name. “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,” owner Dan Snyder said in a statement.
Multiple retailers have subsequently made the decision to remove the team’s merchandise from sale. One of the most prominent companies that has dropped the team’s merchandise is Nike, which reportedly will not sell Washington merchandise until the name is changed, according to The Athletic. Target has also discontinued sales of the team’s merchandise.
Walmart issued a tweet on Friday, announcing that it would discontinue its sales of “items that reference the team’s name and logo.” A quick search of Walmart.com reveals that there are no items related to the team. When looking at the list of NFL teams and associated merchandise, Washington is not listed at all on Walmart.com.
“Given today’s announcement by the NFL and the Washington team’s ownership, we are discontinuing the sale of items that reference the team’s name and logo,” the tweet reads.
Given today’s announcement by the NFL and the Washington team’s ownership, we are discontinuing the sale of items that reference the team’s name and logo. https://t.co/LtT7m7H3we— Walmart Inc. (@WalmartInc) July 3, 2020
The Redskins name has come under increasing fire in recent years, amid calls that the team name is a racial slur. The push to change the name is part of a larger effort to address racially-insensitive names and logos, such as the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo, which was retired two years ago.
However, controversy over the team’s name has stewed for more than a decade. According to an article by the publication Mother Jones on the history of offensive sports team names, the Inter-Tribal Council of the Five Civilized Tribes declared in 2013 that the term “Redskins” used as “the name of a franchise is derogatory and racist” and “perpetuates harmful stereotypes…” Multiple media outlines, including Mother Jones, Slate and The New Republic, elected to stop publishing the team’s name.