WASHINGTON (UPI) — The three minority owners of the Washington Redskins are attempting to sell their shares in the franchise because they are “not happy being a partner” with majority owner Dan Snyder.
League sources told the Washington Post and Pro Football Talk on Sunday that businessmen Frederick Smith, Robert Rothman and Dwight Schar — who combine to own about 40 percent of the Redskins — have hired a banking firm to conduct a search for possible buyers.
The trio of Smith, Rothman and Schar purchased their equity in 2003. They are the only members of the Redskins’ ownership group outside of Snyder and his family.
The news comes as the organization appears increasingly likely to change its nickname. The Redskins are expected to make the switch after the franchise announced Friday that it will “undergo a thorough review” of its team name, which has come under increased scrutiny amid social unrest around the country.
“This process 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 it is proud to represent on and off the field,” Snyder said in a statement Friday.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell said in a statement Friday that the league has had “ongoing discussions” with Snyder and is “supportive of this important step.”
Redskins head coach Ron Rivera said Saturday that he has been actively working with Snyder on a new team name over the past few weeks.
On Thursday, FedEx — which holds the naming rights to the Redskins’ stadium — asked the team to change its name. Smith is the chairman, CEO and president of FedEx — one of the team’s largest sponsors.
Also Thursday, Nike appeared to remove all Redskins gear from its online shop, and PepsiCo was reportedly under pressure to sever its sponsorship with the franchise until a name change occurs.
Reporting by Connor Grott
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