Walmart and Target Are Pulling These Controversial Items From Their Stores
The move comes after other major retailers and sponsors made calls for a big change.
The weeks since the murder of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police officers have seen the U.S. confronting issues with race in ways the country never has before, including making some swift changes to everything from laws to monuments to brand mascots. And some of these changes have included major retailers across the country deciding to pull incendiary products, including certain state flags or attire emblazoned with controversial phrases. Now, Walmart and Target are pulling more controversial items from their stores by dropping all apparel and merchandise related to the Washington NFL team as pressure mounts for them to change their name due to its offensiveness and insensitivity to Indigenous communities.
Walmart announced on Twitter on Friday that they would stop carrying the franchise's merchandise, saying, "We are discontinuing the sale of items that reference the team's name and logo." On Monday, Target confirmed that they too would be pulling the team's merchandise from their site and shelves.
But Walmart and Target are not the first major retailers to stop stocking goods featuring the Washington-based NFL team. While controversy over the team's moniker has roiled for decades, these major moves came quickly after a group of minority investors in the Washington football franchise sent a letter to major sponsors, including Nike, FedEx, and PepsiCo., asking them to sever financial ties with the team until the name was changed. By July 2, Nike—the official game day uniform supplier of the NFL—had dropped all of the team's merchandise from their online store, NBC Sports reported. "We have been talking to the NFL and sharing our concerns regarding the name of the Washington team," a company spokesperson said in a statement on July 3.
On July 2, FedEx—which currently has naming rights to the franchise's home stadium—responded by formally requesting the team meet the demands being set by investors. And PepsiCo. followed suit with a statement on July 3. "We have been in conversations with the NFL and Washington management for a few weeks about this issue," PepsiCo. said, via Adweek. "We believe it is time for a change."
Mounting pressure appears to be having an effect on ownership. Team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement on July 3 that "in light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community … the team will undergo a thorough review of the team's name." He added: "This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks." And for more on how things are changing at the country's biggest retailers, check out Walmart Will Finally Stop Locking Up This One Product After Years.