Redskins announce review of name after sponsor threat

Washington Redskins head coach Ron Rivera holds up a helmet during a news conference at the team’s NFL football training facility in Ashburn, Virginia, Jan. 2, 2020. (AP Photo)
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Updated 03 July 2020

Redskins announce review of name after sponsor threat

  • Washington owner Dan Snyder has long been resistant to changing the team’s name, which is widely considered offensive to Native Americans
  • Following protests over the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of police on May 25, the Redskins’ name has come under renewed scrutiny

WASHINGTON: The Washington Redskins have launched a review of the team’s name, the NFL franchise said Friday, following a fresh wave of calls to scrap the moniker long-criticized as racist.
In a statement which came just 24 hours after Washington’s stadium sponsor FedEx demanded a name change, the franchise said it would undertake a “thorough review” of the Redskins tag.
“In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” the team said.
“This review formalizes the initial discussions the has been having with the league in recent weeks.”
Washington owner Dan Snyder had long been resistant to changing the team’s name, which is widely considered offensive to Native Americans.
“We’ll never change the name,” Snyder said in 2018. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
However following the protests which have swept across the United States following the death of unarmed black man George Floyd at the hands of police on May 25, the Redskins’ name has come under renewed scrutiny.
Reports this week said that FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo. all received letters from 87 investment firms asking the companies and others to sever its ties with the Redskins over the name.
On Thursday, US delivery giant FedEx Corp. — which paid $205 million to the Redskins in 1998 for the naming rights to the team’s stadium — confirmed it had requested the team change its name.
“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” FedEx said in a one-sentence statement.
Team owner Snyder said on Friday the team planned to canvas opinion from across the community in its name change review.
“This process allows the team to take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the NFL and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field,” Snyder said.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell meanwhile welcomed the move, revealing the league had been engaged in extensive discussions with Washington about the matter.
“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.
Washington head coach Ron Rivera, one of only a handful of minority head coaches in the NFL, was also supportive of the move.
“This issue is of personal importance to me and I look forward to working closely with Dan Snyder to make sure we continue the mission of honoring and supporting Native Americans and our Military,” Rivera said in a statement.


Record-breaking Lukaku propelling Inter’s European dream

Updated 12 August 2020

Record-breaking Lukaku propelling Inter’s European dream

  • Inter reach their first European semifinal since 2010 when they went on to win the Champions League

MILAN: A record-breaking Romelu Lukaku is leading Inter Milan's chase for their first trophy in 9 years.

Eyebrows were raised last year when Inter shelled out a club record of around €65 million ($73 million) plus €13 million  ($15 million) in bonuses for Lukaku, who had had a disappointing final season at Manchester United.

However, Lukaku swiftly developed a scintillating partnership with Lautaro Martínez and their goals helped Inter sustain a title challenge before eventually finishing second in Serie A, a point behind Juventus.

Inter scored 81 league goals — well above the paltry 57 they managed in the previous campaign.

Lukaku scored again on Monday and set up another to help Inter beat Bayer Leverkusen 2-1 to reach the Europa League semifinals.

“Romelu has never played so well, not even in the past,” Inter coach Antonio Conte said.

The Belgian forward became the first player to find the net in nine consecutive Europa League games, surpassing the eight set by Alan Shearer for Newcastle in 2005.

Lukaku’s 31st goal of the season took him past the 30-mark for the first time in his career.

“I’ve always wanted to win, ever since I was little,” Lukaku said. “I’ve always said that I will give my all for this team.

“We’re a great team; my teammates help me a lot, otherwise I couldn’t do these things and achieve these numbers ... my teammates look for me. We’re doing well together, all of us.”

Inter reached their first European semifinal since 2010 when they went on to win the Champions League as well as Serie A and the Italian Cup to complete a historic treble.

They retained the Italian Cup the following year but have not managed to lift silverware since.

The Nerazzurri play Shakhtar Donetsk or Basel in the semifinals on Monday.

After an intense period of playing matches approximately every three days after soccer restarted following the pandemic-enforced shutdown, Conte has almost a week to prepare his players.

He will want to make sure they understand that profligacy can prove costly at this level.

Inter have often failed to kill off games in which they have  dominated, and that was again the case on Monday when they had opportunities to extend their advantage.

That allowed Leverkusen to stay in the quarterfinal despite having only two shots on target.

“We could have gone through in a more relaxed manner because, despite the fact that we never really had to dig in, the result was close,” Conte said.

“It’s difficult to be annoyed. I can only compliment the lads on their performance. As is the case after every game, we’ll analyze every situation and see where we can improve.”