Investors press companies to oppose Washington football team's name

July 8, 2020

football on field

Since the early 2000s, the Sisters of Mercy have advocated through shareholder resolutions, floor speeches, letters and dialogues for FedEx (whose name appears on the Washington, D.C., National Football League team stadium) to end its sponsorship due to the team’s name, which is disparaging to Native Americans. The issue has gained significant support over the years, but with the recent increase in public awareness of racial injustices, Mercy Investment Services and six partners including the Oneida nation prompted more than 85 other investors to ask FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo – all major sponsors of the team – “to meet the magnitude of this moment, to make their opposition to the racist team name clear, and to take tangible and meaningful steps to exert pressure on the team to cease using it.” Shortly after sending the letter, FedEx, which owns naming rights for the team’s stadium, asked the team to change its name. Nike soon followed by removing all Washington football merchandise from its website. After these clear messages, ownership of the Washington team released a statement saying they will “undergo a 'thorough' review of the nickname.” Mercy Investment Services will continue to monitor the responses of the companies and the team.

New York Times: Report: Investment Firms Lobby Sponsors to Cut Ties With Redskins

CNBC: Washington Redskins to review name after FedEx asks team to change it

AdWeek: Investors Ask Nike, FedEx and PepsiCo to End Relationships With the Washington Redskins

Pensions & Investments: Investors press 3 firms to cut ties with Washington NFL team over name