The Washington Football Team, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, will not be changing its name to the Washington Warriors. The NFL franchise owned by Jewish businessman Daniel Snyder was forced to change its name before the start of the 2020 season because “Redskins” is a racist slur for Native Americans. But they could not come up with a new name in time for the season so the team simply went with The Washington Football Club.
This made for awkward looking uniforms last season. The name was not the only thing wrong with the Washington Redskins. They also had a caricature of a Native American as their team logo. With no new name and no new logo to go with it, for the 2020 season the Washington Football Team simply placed their players’ numbers on the sides of their helmets where a team logo would ordinarily go. Unlike in other sports, NFL teams do not place their names or cities on their jerseys, just player numbers. So the helmets are where the teams acknowledge their nicknames.
Sports fans all over America were sure that the best choice for a new name for the team would be the Warriors. Just say it out loud – The Washington Warriors. Sounds good, right. The NBA already has a team called The Golden State Warriors. And High schools and colleges across America use the name for their teams.
Honor the past. Embrace the future.
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— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) July 12, 2021
But The Washington Football Team president Jason Wright has nixed the idea of going with the name Warriors. This is because the word warrior has been used negatively in the portrayal of Indians throughout American culture. Just watch some of those old movie westerns with John Wayne and you will understand why the word could also be seen as a racial slur. The name may have worked for a different team, but not one which just dumped the name “Redskins” after more than 80 years.
Jason Wright issued a statement explaining all of this saying, “One might look at this name as a natural, and even harmless transition considering that it does not necessarily or specifically carry a negative connotation. But as we learned through our research and engagement with various groups, ‘context matters’ and that makes it a ‘slippery slope.’”
The team president also acknowledged that not all of their fans were happy of the rebranding and the dumping of the name The Washington Redskins. And many of these people will possibly balk at the decision not to go with the name Warriors. As for being sensitive to the concerns of minority groups Snider said that, “in these moments, it is important to prioritize the views of those who have been hurt by our historical use of Native American language, iconography and imagery.”
Jason Wright also tried to assuage the feelings of those fans still smarting over the dumping of the Washington NFL team’s traditional name. “Let me also be clear: moving on from the old moniker does not invalidate the poignant memories so many of you had with loved ones watching your football heroes in burgundy and gold,” he said. “Those are moments to cherish, and we need your help to ensure we preserve those memories under a new banner that should bring even more fans into the Washington family.”
So what will be the new name of the Washington Football Team? Well Daniel Snyder’s team has not revealed any of the names currently under consideration. With only two months to go until the start of the 2021 NFL season, Washington fans may have to go another year without a new name for The Washington Football Team.