Washington’s NFL team is getting a new name and logo.
The franchise announced Monday morning it has officially retired the controversial nickname that it has used since 1933. This comes after the team launched a “thorough review” of the name on July 3, bowing to recent pressure from sponsors and decades of criticism that the name was offensive to Native Americans.
A new team name has yet to be determined. A source told WUSA the team has narrowed its list of potential names down but “haven’t made a decision yet” and that decision will be “soon”. The new name announcement is on hold until pending trademark issues can be resolved, according to Ben Fischer of Sports Business Journal.
Three names have been floating around as the favorites:
There are no copyright restrictions on "Redwolves", but multiple copyright filings on "Warriors."
Dan Snyder, who has been adamant throughout his ownership of the team that the nickname should not be changed, reversed course after the weight put on him amid calls for social justice changes in the United States, sparked by the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
This is a big step for Snyder if he wants to build his team a new stadium in Washington D.C. D.C. officials have said unless Washington’s NFL team changes their name, the RFK site will not be an option for their new stadium.
"Dan Snyder should know, surely, there is no hope of bringing the team back with that name" Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton (D- D.C.) said.
The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires after the 2027 season and they’re looking at sites in the district for a new stadium.
Several Native American leaders and organizations sent a letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell, renewing their calls for the league to force Dan Snyder to change the team name immediately.
The letter obtained by The Associated Press expresses concern that the organization's process to review the name doesn't involve consultation with those Native American leaders.
President Donald Trump has criticized Cleveland's Major League Baseball team and Washington's NFL team for considering name changes in the wake of a national reckoning over racial injustice and inequality.
Washington's football team is not the first D.C. team to have its name changed.
Washington's basketball team hit the hardwood as the "Wizards" in 1997 after 30 years of being known as the "Bullets."
Unlike the Washington NFL franchise, corporate interests did not pressure Bullets owner Abe Pollin into changing his team's name.
Instead, Pollin felt the Bullets moniker was too violent. His friend, Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin, had just been assassinated. At the same time, D.C. also had a notorious reputation for its violent crime.