Mike Florio, the creator and owner of ProFootballTalk, won't stick to sports. Whether on the site or social media, Florio (and by extension ProFootballTalk) has been steadfast in highlighting and discussing the social issues currently facing our country and offering support to those fighting for racial equality.
On Sunday, Florio took it a step further. As part of a Twitter trend to nominate people to fight against racism, the ProFootballTalk Twitter handle took aim at the Washington Redskins nickname and nominated five of its leaders to help fight to have the nickname changed. Specifically, he nominated head coach Ron Rivera, quarterback Dwayne Haskins, running back Adrian Peterson, linebacker Ryan Kerrigan and rookie Chase Young to "speak out against the racial slur" the team uses as its nickname.
While this may not seem like a big deal, it is. As the country grapples with racial inequality, team nicknames like the Redskins and Braves will come under greater scrutiny. So too will the tomahawk arm waving, chants, logos and other racially-driven elements the teams and fans have participated in for a long time. They can't continue the way they have for decades no matter how big a part these traditions have played in the past.
Also, by calling out these people specifically, he added pressure for them to do something. One of the biggest messages to emerge from the recent protests is that remaining silent makes you culpable in the issue. Will these figures stay silent while playing for a team with a nickname that was a racial slur used to derogatorily describe Native Americans? So far none have responded, but it seems like a matter of time before they'll be forced to take a stand.
A new generation is leading the charge to make changes around the country, whether that's eliminating statues that celebrate racists, rethinking police standards or simply asking white people to be more active in the fight against racism. There's already been some major victories for this group, but the Redskins changing their name is a different animal altogether. Team owner Daniel Snyder has maintained he will "never" change the team's nickname, but if a large enough group refuses to support the team financially (RE: Advertisers) he may be forced to reconsider that position.
With the way the country is changing so rapidly, that could actually happen now. It would take a commitment from a large group of influential people like those Florio tagged and, as mentioned, a substantial financial loss for it to happen, but with influential people like Florio amplifying the message, this could be the beginning of change.