Washington’s NFL franchise officially retired their controversial Redskins name Thursday with the announcement that — for now — they will be referred to as the Washington Football Team.
“The Redskins name and logo will officially be retired by the start of the 2020 season. We encourage fans, media and all other parties to use ‘Washington Football Team’ immediately,” the team said in a statement. “In addition, we are rolling out an aesthetic that reflects the direction of the franchise as we progress toward a new name and design scheme.”
ESPN’s Adam Schefter first reported about the Washington team’s temporary name change, noting that Washington Football Club “is not a final renaming and rebranding for team; this is the name it wants to use until pending adoption of a new name in the future.”
The team’s @Redskins Twitter account similarly shifted to @WashingtonNFL; however, at press time, the redskins.com page was still active. “The Washington Football Team will continue the process of retiring the Redskins name and hopes to be entirely rid of it on physical and digital spaces in the next 50 days, by the Sept. 13 regular-season opener against the Eagles,” Schefter added.
Ready to roll! To represent my family and the DMV area. Here’s to a great season! pic.twitter.com/2mQDQhjXkq
— Dwayne Haskins, Jr (@dh_simba7) July 23, 2020
Soon after, the Washington Football Team unveiled their new jerseys and helmets, the latter of which removes the Native American emblem and replaces it with the player’s jersey number. The name “Redskins” was similarly stricken from the uniform, with “Washington” in its place.
Although “Washington Football Team” is a stopgap while the franchise decides on another name — many of the potential choices were trademarked by an avid fan — the team will still begin to sell merchandise with their temporary name in the coming days.
Earlier this month, the Washington Football Team announced plans to “retire” the Redskins following years of criticism about the name, which was widely considered racist toward Native Americans.
“On July 3rd, we announced the commencement of a thorough review of the team’s name. That review has begun in earnest. As part of this process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward,” the team said July 13th.