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Monday, August 15, 2022

The Washington football team will get a new name on Wednesday

This week, the Washington Football Team, which had adopted a name that was more in keeping with a soccer club in order to distance itself from a racially charged insult, will announce its new moniker.

A redesign for a squad that has been plagued by off-field controversies and poor on-field results in recent years will be completed on Wednesday, almost two years after discarding its long-standing name and logo, the team will showcase replacements.

Despite this, the squad has said that it would maintain its traditional burgundy and gold colours. In social media announcements and declarations from Jason Wright, the team’s president, the RedWolves, Admirals, Generals, Armada, and Presidents were all hinted as possible nicknames.

Several names were deleted from consideration because they were infringing on the trademarks of other clubs, according to Wright’s words posted on the team’s website. Among the names discarded were two variants of the RedWolves moniker, which had been preferred by some supporters.

On Tuesday, Joe Theismann, the former quarterback who was a key part of the team’s two Super Bowl championships, teased the possibility of another contender. When asked about the Commanders in an interview with CBS Sports Radio, Theismann stated he believed it was a name “that is going to be hopefully one that people speak about moving forward.” A banner with the word “Commanders” was visible inside the team’s stadium, according to footage captured by a helicopter for a local NBC station on Tuesday night.

Whatever the term, the procedure has been out of the ordinary thus far. When teams relocate to other locations or when they are sold to new owners, they may need to be renamed or rebranded. When the Rams relocated from St. Louis to Los Angeles before to the 2016 season, they preserved their name and colours but updated their logo and uniforms to reflect their new home. When the Miami Marlins relocated to a stadium inside the city boundaries of Miami, they changed their name from the Florida Marlins to the Miami Marlins. The current Cleveland Browns are a revived version of the franchise that was formerly known as the Baltimore Ravens when Art Modell relocated his version to Baltimore.

The Washington Football Team, on the other hand, has adopted a new identity as a result of political pressure. For years, the team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, fought pleas from fans, sponsors, and Native American organisations to change the team’s name, which had long been deemed a racist insult against Native Americans. Snyder eventually relented. Snyder also successfully defended the club against legal claims that sought to have the team’s trademarks taken away.

However, after the police killing of George Floyd in July 2020, which sparked a nationwide controversy about the treatment of nonwhite people, Snyder relented and decided to drop the name “Redskins,” which had been in use for 87 years.

Sponsors such as Nike, Pepsi and FedEx, who threatened to withdraw their corporate names from the team’s stadium in Maryland if no action was done, were more vocal this time, unlike previous requests to alter the name.

In some respects, the process of creating a new name and design has served as a welcome diversion for a club that has been plagued by bad news. The majority of 2020 and 2021 were spent in a bitter legal battle with three long-time limited partners in the brand, which Snyder won in the end. A series of mudslinging and legal fights ensued, and the league’s owners eventually decided that Snyder could buy out his former partners for $875 million and completely take over control of the organisation.

At the same time, the league assumed control of an investigation into accusations of systemic harassment of women who worked for the club, allegations that had been pending for over two decades before the league took over. According to the National Football League, Commissioner Roger Goodell penalised the club a record $10 million and ordered Snyder to remain away from the team’s premises for a period of several months back in July.

His hunt for a new name and emblem, as well as a new stadium, was permitted to continue, notwithstanding the decision. The results of half of this effort will be revealed shortly.

Dan O'Brien
I am a journalist for The National Era with an emphasis in sports.
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