Washington’s version of the sweatshirt – released every year as part of the NFL’s charitable campaign for military veterans – said “Washington Football,” omitting the Redskins nickname. The franchise has faced widespread criticism over the name for the last several years, with critics and various groups alleging that the name is essentially a racial slur.
Washington’s “Salute to Service” hoodies were the only version among the NFL’s 32 franchises that did not feature the team’s nickname. As the NFL’s official apparel and uniform manufacturer, Nike is responsible for production of the “Salute to Service” gear.
Nike representatives did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment.
Redskins spokesman Sean DeBarbieri told the Washingtonian, the first outlet to report on the omission, that the team did not have a say in the decision.
“This would be a question for Nike,” DeBarbieri told the outlet. “They issue all of the NFL team gear.”
The NFL donates all proceeds from “Salute to Service” apparel to various military charities, including the Pat Tillman Foundation and the Wounded Warrior Project. The league said the campaign has raised $34 million since 2011.
Various Native American groups have staged protests and publicly called on Washington’s ownership group to stop using the Redskins name and logo. Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians retired the team’s divisive “Chief Wahoo” logo in 2018 after facing similar criticism.
Redskins team owner Dan Snyder has repeatedly refused to change the name. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in January 2018 that the franchise was unlikely to do so in the future.
“I don’t see them changing that perspective,” Goodell said at the time.