Washington Redskins under pressure from sponsors to change their name
FedEx Field stadium
FedEx Field stadium Credit: Anders Krøgh Jørgensen

Adweek reported Wednesday that Washington Redskins' sponsors FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo received letters signed by more than 80 investment firms and shareholders asking the companies to sever ties with the team unless it changes its controversial name.

FedEx, which holds the naming rights for the NFL team stadium, told in a statement: "We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,".

Nike, on Thursday night, appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online store but declined to comment about it.

Lifestyle • Food
Mars plans to "evolve" Unlce Ben's brand
Uncle Ben's Logo
Uncle Ben's Logo Credit: Mars Inc

In a statement on Wednesday, Mars Inc announced it is planning to evolve the Uncle Ben's brand, including its visual brand identity to address racial bias and injustices. "Now as we continue to listen to people from around the world, look inward and continue to educate ourselves on how the elements of the brand are perceived, we recognize it is time for us to evolve, which we will do," so the company's statement.

Uncle Ben's was inspired by two black men: a black Texan farmer, known as Uncle Ben, "who was known for growing high-quality rice" and the logo image was inspired by Frank Brown, a "beloved Chicago chef and waiter".

The announcement came hours after Quaker Oats released a statement that it will rebrand Aunt Jemima.

Lifestyle • Food
Quaker Oats to remove Aunt Jemima brand, in effort to "make progress toward racial equality"
1951 ad for Aunt Jemima - America's Best-Loved Pancakes
1951 ad for Aunt Jemima - America's Best-Loved Pancakes Credit: Aunt Jemima / Public domain

In a statement on Wednesday, Quaker Oats announced the rebranding of their syrup and pancake mix brand as they recognised the image of Aunt Jemima as a racial stereotype. Aunt Jemima products feature an illustration of a black woman, first depicted as a minstrel and later as a "mammy" wearing a kerchief which was eventually removed.

Vice president and chief marketing officer Kristin Kroepfl said in a press release: "We recognize Aunt Jemima’s origins are based on a racial stereotype. As we work to make progress toward racial equality through several initiatives, we also must take a hard look at our portfolio of brands and ensure they reflect our values and meet our consumers’ expectations."