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By Che Odom
July 8 — FedEx Corp. shareholders won't get to vote on a resolution that asks the company to describe how it's severing connections to the controversial name of the Washington Redskins, the professional football team whose moniker is deemed by many to be a racial slur.
The Securities and Exchange Commission staff July 7 determined that the company may omit the shareholder proposal from its proxy materials because the resolution may infringe on the company's “ordinary business operations.”
The resolution asks the delivery company to produce a report describing legal steps it has taken or could take to distance itself from the team name.
The team plays home games in a stadium in Landover, Md., called FedEx Field.
Trillium Asset Management submitted the proposal April 13 to FedEx on behalf of the Oneida Trust of Oneida Tribe of Indians of Wisconsin, as well as co-filers Mercy Investment Service Inc. and Calvert Investments.
Trillium said the measure focuses on a “significant policy issue,” making it appropriate to place on the proxy for a shareholder vote.
“Proponents believe this is a matter of human dignity and justice,” the proposal said. “We believe FedEx may suffer reputational harm” from this controversy.
An attempt to reach FedEx for comment was not immediately successful.
Trillium has been submitting the proposal to FedEx since 2014, and the SEC staff each time has given the company a pass on the resolution (143 SLD, 7/27/15).
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The SEC Division of Corporation Finance letter is available at http://bit.ly/29wJMed.
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