July 2 (UPI) — FedEx, which holds the naming rights to the Washington Redskins’ stadium, has requested the NFL franchise to change its team name.

“We’ve got communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” FedEx stated in a press release Thursday, in keeping with ESPN and ABC 7 Information in Washington, D.C.

FedEx paid $205 million for naming rights to the team’s stadium in 1998. The sponsorship take care of the franchise runs by way of 2025. Frederick Smith — the chairman, CEO and president of FedEx Corp. — additionally holds a minority stake within the Redskins.

League sources advised Adweek and the Washington Submit that Redskins proprietor Dan Snyder has been below elevated strain to change the team’s name given the present social local weather, with many protesters concentrating on the group’s sponsors.

On Wednesday, the retailers reported that FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo every obtained letters signed by 87 funding companies and shareholders value a collective $620 billion asking the three corporations to disassociate from the Redskins except they change their controversial nickname.

“The NFL’s Washington, D.C. team nonetheless makes use of a racist name as its mascot,” the letter reads. “Redskins stays a de-humanizing phrase characterizing folks by pores and skin colour and a racial slur with hateful connotations.

“Just about each main nationwide American Indian group has denounced use of Indian and Native associated pictures, names and symbols disparaging or offending American Indian peoples, with over 2,000 tutorial establishments eliminating ‘Indian’ sports activities references.”

Native American leaders need Snyder to change the name, which the group has used since 1933. In earlier years, teams protested the nickname and tried to win in court docket, however these efforts failed.

Eleanor Holmes Norton — the District of Columbia’s nonvoting delegate to the Home of Representatives — stated the name must be switched if the franchise needs to return to the district, in keeping with the Washington Submit. That stance might function a attainable roadblock if the franchise intends to maneuver again to the D.C. space sooner or later.

The Redskins’ lease on the land at FedEx Discipline in Landover, Md., expires after the 2027 season. Washington is actively taking a look at websites within the district, Maryland and Virginia.