Retail giant Walmart announced it will no longer sell Washington NFL merchandise, following the football team’s move to reevaluate its name, a dictionary-defined racial slur.
On Monday, Walmart’s website for NFL jerseys displayed the names and logos for 31 franchises, excluding Washington’s team. Target also removed products from the Washington team. The company featured a pillow and steak knife set from the Minnesota Vikings and apparel for the District’s other professional sports teams during a search for “Washington Redskins” on its website.
Walmart referred the Washington Post to a statement it tweeted Friday on the removal of the gear. “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 company said.
Target told the Post it is in the process of pulling the items.
The moves come as controversy over the team’s name, and the owner’s longtime refusal to change it, has received renewed attention.
Last week, a group comprising more than 85 investment firms and shareholders controlling hundreds of billion of dollars in assets urged FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo to sever ties with the team unless the owner changes the name. Soon after, in a dramatic one sentence statement, FedEx said, “We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name.”
The plea marked a major development in the effort to convince owner Daniel Snyder to rename the franchise, and arrived amid national street protests over racism and police brutality that have extended to calls for reform in corporate America.
“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” the franchise said Friday.
Over the weekend, Coach Ron Rivera told The Post he hopes the name change can happen quickly. “If we get it done in time for the season, it would be awesome,” he said.
Nike expressed its support for a name change. “We have been talking to the NFL and sharing our concerns regarding the name of the Washington team,” the company said in a statement Friday. “We are pleased to see the team taking a first step towards change.” Washington NFL products no longer appear on the company’s online store.
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