Eradicating Offensive Native Mascotry, a group of Native parents and their allies from across the country started a pledge drive on change.org “Pledge to Stop Using FedEx While They Still Quietly Support the Washington ‘Redskins’ Shameful Mascot” for consumers or investors who wish to stop using FedEx products to show support in their decision to boycott the corporation.
Signers pledge to stop buying FedEx products, to the best of their ability, until FedEx drops sponsorship of the Washington NFL team using a cancelled trademark found to be disparaging against Native Americans by the US Patent and Trademark Office, over 200 civil rights organizations, and the majority of Native American Tribal Nations.
Sustainability Analyst at Calvert Investments Reed Montague said:
“As times change, so must our language. Given the historic and present connotations of the name, turning real people into caricatures and mascots or insulting a portion of our population with an offensive name is no longer acceptable in this day and age,” said Montague. “We strongly encourage FedEx to address and examine its role in perpetuating and supporting such stereotypes.”
However, FedEx CEO Fred Smith, a personal owner of the team, declined to address the concerns of the public over the negative reputation that FedEx is getting for sponsoring a racial slur with an undeniable genocidal association against Native American.
Longtime Native American Rights activist Suzan Shown Harjo:
“It didn’t interfere with free speech, it wasn’t even forcing a decision. What it’s saying is, ‘Here’s what the federal government will or will not sanction.’ Because, it’s the federal government’s role to grant the exclusive privilege of making money off this name.”
We feel that FedEx, the NFL, and the Washington team are free to continue to verbally abusive Native Americans, but no longer is it protected as a monopoly to make money and there are consequences for engaging in racism. We wish to support the Americans, Native Americans, groups, and other businesses that feel that this continued abuse of a minority is cruel and not even allowed in most work places-let alone in the public sphere of business sponsorship and marketing.