After years of criticism and consideration — and declarations by the team owner that the name would never change — the NFL franchise formerly known as the Washington Redskins has settled on a new, inoffensive name. Sort of.
The Washington football team will, for the foreseeable future, be officially known as ... the Washington Football Team.
As a movement to remove from public view all content or references that are potentially racially offensive sweeps the nation, the Redskins franchise was under greater pressure than ever before to change the name, which some Native Americans view as a racial slur.
The plan is for the Washington Football Team name to be temporary as the team searches for a new name and mascot for future seasons, ESPN reported.
"Effective immediately, Washington will call itself the 'Washington Football Team,' pending adoption of a new name, sources tell ESPN," ESPN's Adam Schefter reported. "This 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."
Over the next 50 days before the 2020 NFL season is set to start, the Washington Football Team will clear out all references to the Redskins name from its public platforms.
It's the uniforms for us 👏 https://t.co/7BGOmSqjMY— Washington Football Team (@Washington Football Team)1595529309.0
For years, team owners of the franchise have insisted that the name is not offensive and would never be changed. The team has had the "Redskins" name since 1933. ESPN reported:
Team owner Dan Snyder had, for years, resisted changing the name — telling USA Today in 2013 to "put it in all caps" that he would never make such a move. Some who worked for Snyder said they believed then that he would rather sell the team than use a new name.
The controversy surrounding the name predated Snyder's purchase of the team in May 1999. When Washington played at Super Bowl XXVI following the 1991 season, there were 2,000 protestors outside the Metrodome in Minneapolis. Then-owner Jack Kent Cooke said of any possible change, "There is not a single, solitary jot, tittle, whit chance in the world. I like the name, and it's not a derogatory name."
The new name's lack of creativity led to some social media mockery, including from NBA star LeBron James.
"Just waking back up from my pregame nap to see about The Washington Football team??? Is that real??" James wrote on Twitter. "No way! Oh man they had a thorough intense long board meeting about that one huh."
Just waking back up from my pregame nap to see about The Washington Football team??? 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣. Is that real?? No way!… https://t.co/QFIbSFEOu2— LeBron James (@LeBron James)1595526225.0