She apparently didn’t read the contract, but Alyssa Milano likely cashed the check. Although the Who’s the Boss? and Charmed actress has joined the crowd upset that the Washington Redskins continue to call themselves the Washington Redskins, her indignation is seemingly compromised by her own inconsistency.
Pressure is building on Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder
You can’t sneak much past the people running FedEx, the mammoth parcel shipping company headquartered in Memphis, Tennessee. After feeling heat from investors, FedEx executives this week joined the chorus calling for the Washington Redskins to change their name in the wave of cancel culture that is seeing statues torn down – sometimes for ill-informed reasons – and long-existing brands change their names.
The problem with FedEx’s reaction to investors is that the company’s name has been on the Redskins’ stadium since shortly after then-owner Jack Kent Cooke built FedEx Field in Landover, Maryland, in the late 1990s.
Going public with a call for change now, particularly when Native American groups have been protesting the Redskins moniker for decades, comes off as hypocritical. Compounding the odd optics of the uprising, FedEx CEO Frederick Smith holds a minority stake in the Redskins.
CNN reported that Nike and PepsiCo are among the other major corporations targeted by shareholders who want the companies to apply pressure to Redskins owner Daniel Snyder. It appears that Nike has removed Redskins merchandise from its online store.
Protestors have already scored a victory by having the statue of George Preston Marshall, the founder of the team, removed from outside RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. Snyder followed by agreeing to strip Marshall’s name from team material and the Redskins’ Ring of Honor.
Alyssa Milano’s outrage over the Washington Redskins is peculiar
Even ardent supporters of keeping the Washington Redskins’ name in place would have to concede there should be room for a thoughtful discussion acknowledging that what seemed OK in the past may no longer be acceptable. Many high schools and colleges have moved away from Redskins and Indians mascots over the past 20 years for that very reason.
Where it becomes problematic is when people like actress Alyssa Milano leap before they look. Milano has tweeted a link to followers to sign a petition demanding that the Redskins change their name. But she did so after she’s already profited from the Washington Redskins name.
The “Touch by Alyssa Milano” sportswear collection is sold through multiple outlets, including the NFL’s online store. In fact, the brand’s promotion includes pictures of Milano wearing Redskins apparel.
She’s presumably compensated for that, which makes her sudden vocal opposition to the Redskins name problematic, especially when she writes that allowing the “NFL to continue to use the Redskins name is destructive to Native communities and cannot be tolerated any longer.”
There is a solution
To be fair, it’s documented that Alyssa Milano has said as far back as 2017 that she wants to alter the contract for her “Touch by Alyssa Milano” collection that has her hawking Washington Redskins merchandise. She tweeted that her manufacturing company is the culprit and cites potential legal action for breach of contract as a concern.
The solution would seem to be simple, however: Write a check to get out of the contract. The people sitting across the table obviously attach a certain value to having her name on their product. It would seem logical that they would accept that amount plus a dollar to terminate the contract.
Failing that, has she offered to donate 1/32nd of her profit — or maybe 1/16th since the Kansas City Chiefs still exist — from the deal to a Native American charity?
On the other hand, it appears stubbornness – a trait that’s played a role in the team’s failures on the field — rather than money motivates Daniel Snyder in his decision to keep the Washington Redskins name alive. Pro and college teams routinely update their jerseys and other logo merchandise, generating substantial money.
It stands to reason that Snyder would profit handsomely by changing the name and mascot, spawning years of additional sales. But after digging his heels in for so many years, getting him to change because people and demanding that he do so seems unlikely despite his pledge of a “thorough review” of the nickname.