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Amazon joins Target, Walmart in removing Washington NFL team merchandise

Washington's team announced last week that it was doing a "thorough review" of its name, which has long been condemned as a racial slur.
Image: Amazon
The logo of Amazon is seen at the company logistics center in Lauwin-Planque, northern France, on April 22, 2020.Pascal Rossignol / Reuters file

Amazon on Wednesday notified sellers that it is removing products that feature the name of Washington's NFL team. The name has long been condemned as an anti-Indigenous slur, and in recent days, the team has opened the door to change, saying it is doing a "thorough review" of the name.

Amazon joins Target and Walmart in refusing to carry merchandise bearing the team's name.

The team announced its review a day after FedEx, which owns the naming rights to the field where the team plays, requested that the team change its name.

The request and review come after protests over racial injustice across the country since the in-custody death of George Floyd, a Black man, in Minneapolis on May 25.

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement Friday that he was supportive of the name review.

Washington's NFL team is not the only sports team exploring issues surrounding its name. The Cleveland Indians Major League Baseball team said Friday that it will "determine the best path forward with regard to our team name."

President Donald Trump has criticized the actions of both teams, calling them "fabled sports franchises." He tweeted on Monday that the teams "look like they are going to be changing their names in order to be politically correct."

Washington's NFL team said in a statement announcing the review that "this review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks."

Cleveland's baseball team also said in its statement that it has been having ongoing discussions internally about the issues surrounding social justice, equality and acknowledged that its name is among the most visible ways it connects with the community.

CNBC reported earlier Wednesday about Amazon's notice to sellers, citing a person who runs an online seller group. The notice by Amazon according to CNBC warns that "failure to properly close or delete all restricted product listings from your inventory may result in deactivation."

A Target spokesperson said this week that it was in the process of removing Washington NFL team merchandise online and in stores.

Walmart tweeted Friday that: "Given today’s announcement by the NFL and the Washington team’s ownership, we are discontinuing the sale of items that reference the team’s name and logo."

PepsiCo, a partner of the team, said last week that it had been in talks with the NFL and the team's management for several weeks about the name. "We believe it is time for a change. We are pleased to see the steps the team announced today, and we look forward to continued partnership," a spokesperson said in a statement.

Amazon's headquarters is in Seattle. On Wednesday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson said his office sent a letter to Amazon asking the company to remove the team's merchandise from its website.

"We commend Amazon for taking this swift action to support this long overdue change," Ferguson tweeted after his office was informed merchandise would be removed.