Redskins Likely to Change Team Name

A new look for DC football?

by DJ Rippert

And so it goes. The Washington Redskins issued a somewhat surprising announcement today stating that the organization will “undergo a thorough review of the team’s name.” While the statement does not definitively say that the team name will be changed, it is almost guaranteed to change given today’s political climate. Even Dan Snyder wouldn’t undertake a review of the controversial name only to conclude that “everything is fine with the name.” Would he?

A rose by any other name. The Washington Redskins were once a powerhouse in the NFL but fell into the cellar just before they were purchased by Dan Snyder. While it would be unfair to blame Snyder for the fall it is very fair to blame him for the 20+ years of misery ‘Skins fans have endured under Mr. Snyder’s management. Throughout Snyder’s tenure the name “Redskins” has been very controversial. Many people see the name as a significant slur against Native Americans although that sentiment is not universal. During a flare up of the Redskins name controversy in 2014 it was pointed out that a high school on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona used “Redskins” as their team name and wanted to keep the name. Snyder steadfastly defended the name and vowed that it would never change. Apparently 2020 has become the official year of things that will never change changing.

Recent events. The protests against the murder of George Floyd and racism in America catalyzed the latest round of opposition to the Redskins name. The Redskins’ press release describes a multi-week discussion between the team and NFL leadership over the name. Representatives from the City of Washington, D.C.,  recently stated that they would not allow the team to build a new stadium in the city unless the name was changed and Nike threatened to stop making Redskins’ uniforms. FedEx, who owns naming rights to the stadium where the team plays in Maryland, also wanted a name change. The die was cast.

One fan’s view. As a lifelong fan of the Washington Redskins I am supportive of the decision to rename the team. Some people, including many Native Americans, certainly found the name highly offensive. Regardless of whether everybody found the name offensive or not, enough took offense to make a change. The sporadic controversies over the name were an ongoing distraction for the team, its players and its fans. Finally, anything that might disrupt the bad karma of the last twenty years is welcome. D.C. (The District of Champions) has a recent Stanley Cup and won the last World Series. It’s time for the football team to return to form unencumbered by a legitimate sense of frustration or outrage over the name.

Now what? The obvious question is what new name will be chosen. Hopefully the team brain trust will avoid any name with even a hint of controversy. The Washington Bullets became the Wizards. The Houston Oilers became the Tennessee Oilers then the Tennessee Titans. This won’t be the first time a professional sports team’s name has changed. Starting at the beginning … should the team even use Washington as the city name? It would be a shame to have to change again if that name falls out of favor based on General George’s slaveholding past. “D.C.” is available as a synonym to Washington in this context. But the DC what? They could reinstate “Senators” although that organization has a lower approval rating than even the Redskins of the last 20 years. “Monuments” might work until they are all torn down. “Traffic” or “Traffic Jam” would be apt. The “D.C. Filibuster” would be an accurate portrayal of the team’s running game. I’m leaning toward following the Tennessee Titans down the mythical being path with the D.C. Dragons.

Put your team name suggestions in the comments.

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36 responses to “Redskins Likely to Change Team Name

  1. They were bullied… by FedEx. Case of a bully running into someone much bigger.

    Think “Rollerball”.

    • True about FedEx. Thanks for the point. While I don’t see that as the major issue I’ll update the post. They had a contract with FedEx for a few more years. FedEx was sabre rattling / virtue signaling. The big issue was the new stadium not the naming rights for the old stadium. Fed Ex Field is an absolute disaster. Worst stadium in the NFL and I’ve been to many NFL stadiums. Snyder will lose the team if he doesn’t address the many, many problems with the current stadium (which, in fairness, was built by his predecessor). And the only way to address the problems is to tear it down and build a new one somewhere else – most likely near Nationals Stadium in DC. And that wasn’t even going to get started until the “Redskins” name was changed.

  2. Amazing to me how important Sports are to folks AND because they are, a significant component of our economy… none of it truly necessary for the basics of life, food, shelter, clothing, education… totally entertainment little different than other entertainers.

    Think about that word: “entertain” and it’s place in our society.

    • Bread and circuses Larry my man. Bread and circuses. Gotta keep the prols entertained while the people who run America (see JB’s recent post) enforce their will upon the people.

      It’s more than just sports. Movies, Netflix, TV dramas, plays, etc. I’m amazed that people aren’t losing their minds over the play Hamilton’s positive portrayal of the Founding Fathers. Might be time to burn down a couple of theaters just to make a point.

      The one thing I will say about sports is that it’s one of the few places in modern American society where upper class and working class people intermingle and communicate. High end lawyers tailgate with bus drivers and surgeons with teachers before Redskins games. No introductions required. Just walk up and ask, “So, how do you think the ‘Skins are going to do today?” Everybody is wearing jerseys or sweatshirts so the class distinctions are muted.

  3. Is it relevant that in surveys, most Native Americans say they have no problem with the name of the Washington Redskins?

    If it were offensive to most Native Americans, that would be a sound reason to change the name.

    • If the Redskins were largely owned by Native Americans I guess I wouldn’t care if they kept the name. But the Redskins are not owned by Native Americans. So, I think even a significant minority who feel badly ought to be accommodated. I also don’t see how it helps the team or the brand to keep the name. Nothing is really being taken away by changing the name. I was living in Baltimore when Irsay left town with the Colts. People swore they would never watch NFL football again. The rat even stole the name! Some years later a new team named the Ravens came to town. Ravens? Are there even ravens in Maryland? A couple of Super Bowl trophies later and nobody can remember the Baltimore Colts.

  4. James Wyatt Whitehead V

    The Skins haven’t had my attention since 1991. I used to plan my entire Sunday around those games. Since the Skins have been so bad for so long they ought to resurrect another big time loser team: The Washington Federals. I bet FedEx would like that. Absolutely no defense those Federals. Team logo and colors were so bad they changed it in the 2nd season. Still I do remember Craig James was one tough running back. I suggest supporting high school football. But we can’t since that is cancelled too. When does the long summer of cancel culture end?

    • I was starting to like the DC Defenders in this Spring’s XFL league. One of my sons had season tickets (for something like $50 for 4 games), went to the soccer stadium in DC to watch them and loved it.

      My youngest son is a rising 9th grader who plays football. He keeps asking me if there is any way the season will be played. I told him that I can’t see any way that schools that won’t fully open due to social distancing will somehow figure out how to play football.

  5. Look at what a corrosive effect sports has had on higher Ed.

    Higher Ed in other countries is separate from sport. Here, it’s perverted higher ed to a certain degree.

    and again – it’s what WE WANT – “we”, a large number of “us” want those NCAA and other sports… and again – it’s entertainment… AND it’s GDP at the same time… unbelieveable.

    • I don’t see sports as corrosive to higher ed. I think big college sports may be corrosive to the athletes who play those sports but I’m not sure how Virginia being a national basketball powerhouse corrodes UVA.

      I do agree that no college student should be charged to pay for college sports (unless they decide to attend games by buying tickets). College rugby basically does it right. The teams I know require voluntary donations from alumni, supporters and sometimes the players (or their families). However, they do not get funded by the university.

      • It corrodes the purpose and mission of institutions of higher learning.

        It becomes a reason to attend whereas if sports weren’t there – those who attend would be there for one primary reason – like we see at higher ed in other developed countries.

        In this country – you said it – circus and bread – even at Higher Ed.

        How about CalTech or MIT ?

  6. Wait? Are we still The Tribe? Or something from Harry Potter?

    Oh, but for a school with 7,000 undergraduates, $1B at bad.

  7. My vote: Change the name of the Washington Redskins to… the D.C. Redskins.

  8. You go, Ripper. Rip them up!

  9. Or maybe the D.C. Deepstaters.

    The mascot would look like Jim Comey.

  10. Normally, these people are too out there for even me, but good humor is the fourth unalienable right…

  11. How about a name that really represents DC:

    Beltway Bandits

  12. I like rippert’s suggestion of DC Dragons for a new name. I also like DC Champions, DC Power, and Washington Stars.
    I’ve been a fan of the Washington Redskins since the 1980s when our family moved t0 the DC metro area. As a descendant of American Indians and a tribal member (Salish & Kootenai tribes of the Flathead Nation in Montana), I have certainly thought it would be appropriate and respectful for the Redskins to change their name, but never expected Snyder to accomplish that based on his previous comments on the issue. I think the change would provide some powerful inspiration and juju for this team that has been on a failing trajectory for years and missing some real spark that evidently Snyder’s money can’t buy. There may be a real hidden financial benefit for Snyder and the team in a name change…millions in selling new team clothing, products, and juicy promotions with the hope of a new start with the new name. I am ready, as many other fans, to step up and now buy a shirt or jersey to celebrate the name change.

  13. Another suggestion:

    Crony Capitalists

  14. The DC Donalds… be careful what you wish for

  15. I can’t get used to the idea of saying a facility, which I can remember being built, is obsolete. Fedex Field opened in 1997–that is only 23 years ago. Why don’t we build things that last longer? My house was built about 60 years ago and it is basically the same house.

    On another aspect of this subject: Jack Kent Cooke was slimy, but at least he built the new stadium with his own money.

  16. Snyder missed the golden opportunity several years ago to change the name. He could have had a very positive fan process picking the new name and logos, etc.

    The new logo/colors needs to be something I can work with as far as designing with LED lights. The Nats Curly W works well.

  17. How about the “Filthy Lobbyists”? People shouldn’t be mascots? Locally, Langley Saxons, McLean Highlanders.

  18. I’ve always wanted to attend a game where one team was the “Dumpster Divers.” DC Dumpster Divers has the right combination of wreckless do anything to win, constructive ingenuity for me.

  19. The Swamp

  20. Here I pass this along to that prime exemplar of American capitalist, the mogul Dan Snyder.

    I am highly offended by your name “Washington Redskins” for reasons so blatant and obvious we need not mention them, and so charge on as a justice warrior cleansing all naming injustices everywhere in America’s vast and unjust sports world.

    For example:

    Let’s ditch the Kansas City Chiefs, the Atlanta Braves, Cleveland Indians and Browns.

    Lets erase the blatant references to the Catholic religion among our sports teams: the New Orleans Saints, Los Angeles Angels and San Diego Padres, that promote religion.

    Lets rub out all the white criminals who raped and pillaged: the Oakland Raiders, Minnesota Vikings, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and Pittsburgh Pirates!

    Now, cleanse all teams peddling bad messages. The San Diego Chargers promoting bad spending habits. The New York Giants and the San Francisco Giants that promote obesity, a growing childhood epidemic. The Cincinnati Reds pushing downers and barbiturates. And blow up The Milwaukee Brewers whose sins and harms are so obvious we need not explain them.

    I demand US Congressional legislation to rectify these social injustices. This includes changing the name of Oregon State women’s athletic teams to something other than “the Beavers” especially when they play Southern California the “Trojans.” Who can tolerate Trojans sticking it to the Beavers?

    And, as for the Redskins, I suggest the “Foreskins,” paying tribute and homage to the dick heads in Washington DC.

  21. Washington Progressives


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