Amazon Tells Sellers to Remove Washington Redskins Merchandise

Walmart and Target have also discontinued sales of the team's products

redskins baseball hats
Amazon, Walmart and Target are all pulling Washington Redskins merchandise from their shelves. Getty Images
Headshot of Lisa Lacy

Amazon is the latest retailer to pull Washington Redskins merchandise from its digital shelves as pressure mounts on the NFL team to change its name, which has long been considered a racial slur.

An Amazon spokesperson confirmed the news in an email, adding, “With the announcement from the Washington team and the NFL, we are removing products with the team’s name and logo from our stores.”

CNBC reported that Amazon sent a letter to its third-party sellers on July 8, giving them 48 hours to remove flagged products.

Amazon did not comment on how many listings will be removed. It was not clear how many products the site carried prior to the change, but a search on July 9 yielded about 40 remaining products.

Amazon follows retailers like Walmart and Target, which said they, too, would no longer sell items with the team’s name and logo.

A Walmart spokesperson said the retailer had nothing to share beyond its tweet on July 3.

As of July 9, the Washington Redskins were not listed alongside the other 31 NFL teams in the Shop by Team section of Walmart’s digital NFL shop.

A Target spokesperson said, “We are in the process of removing their merchandise from our assortment.” It appears Target has pulled all listings from its site, although a search for the team name on still yields sponsored listings for shirts and jerseys from online retailers like the NFL Shop, Fanatics and FansEdge.

The shift comes as the Washington NFL team has begun a review of its name, which The Washington Post noted was first used as a slur in an 1863 newspaper announcement in which the state of Minnesota offered a $200 reward “for every red-skin sent to Purgatory.”

In a statement, team owner Dan Snyder said the review “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 National Football League and the local community.”

This marks a sharp turn from just a few years ago when Snyder told USA Today, “We’ll never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER—you can use caps.”

More recently, however, the team has faced pressure from shareholders and investment firms, who have called on stakeholders like FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo to divest unless the team changes its name. (Nike has also dropped Redskins apparel from its website.)

The MLB’s Cleveland Indians have also announced that they are considering a name change. The teams are responding to growing support for the Black Lives Matter movement and calls for social justice across industries.

Among the first brands reacting to this wave of consumer sentiment were food and beverage giant PepsiCo, which retired its Aunt Jemima brand. The news was quickly followed by promises from other brands with problematic mascots like Uncle Ben’s, Cream of Wheat, Mrs. Butterworth’s and Eskimo Pie.

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@lisalacy Lisa Lacy is a senior writer at Adweek, where she focuses on retail and the growing reach of Amazon.