September 21, 2020

Washington NFL franchise adopt new name for 2020 season

Case Keenum playing for the Washington Redskins
Washington’s NFL franchise was first named the Redskins in 1933, when they still played in Boston

Washington’s NFL team will be called the “Washington Football Team” during the 2020 season.

Earlier in July, the franchise announced that they would drop the team name “Redskins”, a name seen as offensive to Native Americans.

Major sponsors had threatened to pull funding from the team unless they considered renaming themselves.

The club say they will conduct an in-depth branding process as they choose a new name and logo.

A statement on the club website read: “Starting tomorrow and over the next 50 days, we will begin the process of retiring all Redskins branding from team properties.

“We encourage fans, media and all other parties to use ‘Washington Football Team’ immediately.”

Washington NFL team drop controversial name and logo

The club also announced that fans will be able to purchase merchandise with the interim name on it in the coming days, as they unveiled new player uniforms including helmets scrubbed of the team’s former logo.

The Washington Football Team are set to face the Philadelphia Eagles in their first game of the regular NFL season on 13 September.

Team owner Dan Snyder had been a boyhood fan of the 87-year-old team – which was named the Redskins in 1933 when it was still based in Boston – and had vowed to never change its moniker.

But amid recent protests over police brutality and racism, major sponsors FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America all called on Snyder to consider finally changing the name.

The NFL team are not the first Washington DC sports franchise to change their name amid shifting cultural attitudes.

In 1995, basketball’s Washington Bullets were renamed the Wizards after the NBA team owner said he had become uncomfortable with the name’s violent overtones.

The Redskins, who moved to DC in 1937, were founded by businessman George Preston Marshall, who believed in racial segregation.

They were the last team to allow black players onto the team, and only did so after the US government threatened to revoke the lease on their stadium in 1962.