Washington Football Team Are Now the Commanders - Rolling Stone
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The Washington Football Team Finally Has an Official Slur-Free Name

After two seasons as the Washington Football Team, the franchise reveals permanent team name

LANDOVER, MARYLAND - FEBRUARY 02: A detailed view of a Washington Commanders logo during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)LANDOVER, MARYLAND - FEBRUARY 02: A detailed view of a Washington Commanders logo during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Rob Carr/Getty Images

After two seasons as the stopgap Washington Football Team, the NFL franchise officially announced its permanent new name Wednesday: The Washington Commanders.

The team revealed their new military-themed name — which leaked in the days prior to the announcement — with a video that showcased the team’s “legacy” as well as their new burgundy-and-gold uniforms:

“As an organization, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation’s capital,” team owner Dan Snyder said of the Commanders name in a statement. “As we kick-off our 90th season, it is important for our organization and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy, and the greats that came before us. We continue to honor and represent the Burgundy & Gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington. Today may mark the first day for the Washington Commanders, but we are and always will be Washington.”

In July 2020, amid the George Floyd protests and sweeping social change — as well as a looming advertisers’ boycott — the Washington franchise announced it would finally retire its controversial “Redskins” team name; five months later, the Cleveland Indians revealed they too would drop their longtime team name, with that franchise becoming the Guardians starting during the upcoming 2022 season.

Ray Halbritter, the nation representative and CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises, told ESPN of the Washington name change, “They’ll no longer be subjected to such an offensive and harmful slur every Sunday during the football season. It’s a great moment for Washington fans. They want to support a team, to love a team, and now they won’t be put in position having to do that with a dictionary-defined slur as a name.”

After dropping their racist moniker and its Native American imagery, the team spent two seasons as the Washington Football Club as they deliberated other permanent names, including the Warriors, Redhawks, Redtails, and Red Hogs. Ultimately, the Washington franchise went with a team name that both honored the military and could shortened to the “Commies.”

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