Shipping giant FedEx is facing more pressure to end its business relationship with the Washington NFL team.
FedEx holds naming rights on the stadium in Maryland
where the team plays. And its president, Fred Smith
, is a member of the team’s ownership group.
The company, however, isn't taking a stand on the team's racist mascot. TheOneida Nation
of New York, the National Congress of American Indians
, theUnited Church of Christ Central Atlantic Conference
and the Plymouth Congregational United Church of Christ
say that needs to change.
"At FedEx field, your company is allowing its iconic brand to be used as a platform to promote the R-word – a racist epithet that was screamed at Native Americans as they were dragged at gunpoint off their lands," a letter from the groups to Smith states
The letter points out that a section of the stadium is named for George Preston Marshall
who refused to allow African American players on his team. He relented under pressure from the administration of president John F. Kennedy.
"As you and FedEx officials probably recall, the stadium was officially opened in 1997, meaning the decision to name the George Preston Marshall section after this proud racist happened quite recently," the letter states.
Separately, the Oneida Nation
of Wisconsin is leading an effort for FedEx to re-evaluate its relationship with the team. The tribe is an stockholder in the firm.
Get the Story:Activist group targets FedEx over Washington NFL team name
(USA Today 6/25)Press Release: Oneida Nation, National Congress of American Indians and United Church of Christ React to FedEx Field Section Named for Segregationist George Preston Marshall
(Oneida Nation 6/25)
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