During the virtual event, FedEx CEO and Chairman Fred Smith read a question from a shareholder who argued the company had “alienated wide swaths of customers who are sick to death of loud performative wokeness” when it publicly called for the franchise to discontinue use of its “Redskins” name and logo. The shareholder asked if the company would back off the issue and “refocus on its core business,” according to the Memphis Commercial Appeal.
In response, FedEx Chief Marketing Officer Brie Carere said the company evaluates “all marketing sponsorships through our commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.” FedEx is one of the Washington Football Team’s biggest sponsors and holds naming rights to its home stadium, FedEx Field.
“We appreciate very much the Washington Football Team’s decision to change its name and its logo, and please remember that it was the team’s decision,” Carere said. “It is also important to remember that at FedEx Field, we have the great opportunity to host a wide variety of sports and entertainment events and activities. We value very much our sponsorship of FedEx Field and we look forward to the next steps of the team’s rebranding.”
FedEx declined further comment.
FedEx was one of several sponsors to publicly call on Washington majority owner Dan Snyder to rebrand the franchise. Critics had long argued that the team’s previous name was offensive to Native American groups.
Aside from his leadership role with FedEx, Smith owns a minority stake in the Washington Football Team. The franchise adopted its current name as a placeholder and has yet to finalize its rebrand.
Snyder recently told the Wall Street Journal that the franchise could permanently adopt the name “Washington Football Team” if it resonates with fans this season.
“I think we have developed a very classy retro look and feel,” Snyder said.
The NFL is currently investigating the Washington Football Team after the Washington Post reported allegations of sexual harassment and verbal abuse against former team executives.