Ron Rivera, the team’s head coach, said in the statement that he will work closely with Snyder on the review, calling it an issue of “personal importance.”
NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell came out in support of the team’s review of the name change.
“In the last few weeks we have had ongoing discussions with Dan and we are supportive of this important step,” Goodell said in a statement.
The Redskins’ announcement comes amid a renewed national conversation on racism and further calls for the team to change its name. FedEx, the title sponsor of the Redskins’ stadium, announced Thursday that it asked the team to change its name.
“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” the company said in a statement.
PepsiCo, a Redskins partner, has been involved in discussions about the name review with the NFL and the team’s management for a few weeks, a spokesperson for the company said Friday.
“We believe it is time for a change. We are pleased to see the steps the team announced today, and we look forward to continued partnership,” the spokesperson said.
Nike appears to have removed Washington Redskins merchandise from its online store Thursday night, but the company has yet to issue a public statement on the team’s name.
This isn’t the first time the franchise has been pushed to change by outside forces. In 1961, the Redskins were the last segregated team in the NFL and set to move into a new stadium in D.C.
But the Kennedy administration told owner George Preston Marshall that the team would be unable to use the stadium unless he integrated the roster. The Redskins then brought in player Bobby Mitchell from the Cleveland Browns, though they infamously greeted him by playing the song “Dixie” at the team’s welcome luncheon.