FedEx has rejected a proposal from the Oneida Indian tribe to “drop or distance” the company from the NFL franchise in Washington, whose stadium, FedExField, it sponsors, until its ownership agrees to change the name of the mascot.
The proposal was led by the Oneida Trust of the Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, together with other supporter such as broadcasters and congress men and women, who argue the franchise’s name is deeply offensive.
“We consider the Washington team name a racial slur, tracing back to colonial times when bounties were paid on a sliding scale for the skins of Native men, women and children, and traded like animal hides,” Susan White, trust director stated. “The term did not describe actions that honored Indian peoples then and it still represents racism and genocide today for Native peoples. We are the only race of people dehumanized by an NFL team. Washington Redskins is the most egregious.”
FedEx, a multi-billion dollar company, didn’t seem to fazed or even care about the Tribe’s position, stating, “We highly value our sponsorship of FedExField, which not only hosts the Washington Redskins, but is home to a variety of major entertainment and sports events and multiple community activities.” (This from senior vice president for marketing and communications Patrick Fitzgerald).
I take exception to FedEx’s comment for two reasons: a) it contains the team name that everyone finds offensive within it, b) everyone knows that FedEx gets its return on its sponsorship investment from the association it has with the NFL franchise, not from other entertainment events or community actives. I am sorry Mr. Fitzgerald, but your statement is insensitive, disgusting, and insulting.