The Washington Football Team

by Jack Cohen

Adapting to a New Era in the National Football League

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In July, The NFL team based out of Washington D.C. announced the retirement of its logo and former name, The Washington Redskins. Amid the wake of cultural discourse and discussion in the US, owner Dan Snyder and coach Ron Rivera have come to a cultural realization of the offensive team logo and name.

Originally, in 1999, when Snyder bought the team, he proclaimed that the team would “never” change its name. Despite his original sentiment that the name honored the Native Americans, Snyder now agrees that it misrepresents the history and culture of the term “Redskins,” which was used to describe the Native Americans and their “dark red” skin color. During the process of the team’s name change, many corporate sponsors—among them Nike, Fed-Ex, and Pepsi— supported the idea of a team name change from “Redskins” to an alternate name. Although the most recent, The Washington Football Team wasn’t the only team to re-discuss their team’s name. Two years ago, The Cleveland Indians received complaints about their team’s mascot, Chief Wahoo, and were forced to retire it.

After the retirement of the “Redskins” name, the team released a statement that declared the team would be called the Washington Football Team until a new name was adopted and encouraged fans, media, and “other parties” to refer to the team by the new facto name immediately

When the name for The Washington Football Team was released, many athletes and people in the sports were confused surrounding its simplicity. ESPN analyst Max Kellerman was distraught at the laziness of Dan Snyder and the rest of the organization. He believed that the Washington Football Team should have been prepared to change their name a long time ago and that it shows a severe level of disrespect towards the Native Americans by their lack of effort and creativity. Although it was said to be temporary, athletes such as Lebron James mocked the new interim name in a tweet that read: “Oh man they had a thorough intense long board meeting about that one huh.” Although unoriginal, the Washington Football team serves as an uncontroversial name. and With the 2020 NFL season beginning, The Washington Football Team created a whole new uniform, keeping their primary colors of burgundy and gold, but changing the logos on helmets and jerseys to just the player’s number.

After decades of debating, it was finally time for the team to depart from its previous logo and name and finally respect all cultures that were affected by the former name. With the Washington Football Teams’ new head coach and 2019 draft picks, the recent change to the team’s name and logo, it was time to step into a new era for the Washington Football Team.