Playing without a nickname, the Washington Football Team has been an oddball in North American professional sports for the past two seasons. But that will change Feb. 2, when the organization unveils its new name.
What You Need To Know
- The Washington Football team announced Tuesday that it will reveal its new nickname Feb. 2
- In July 2020, the organization finally yielded to years of public pressure and dropped the Redskins moniker it had used for 87 years
- It has simply called itself the Washington Football Team ever since while working to rebrand
- Team President Jason Wright ruled out the names Wolves and RedWolves because of trademark issues
The team announced in a seven-minute video Tuesday that it will reveal its new name next month. In July 2020, the organization finally yielded to years of public pressure from Native American activists and advocacy groups, team sponsors and local officials and dropped the Redskins moniker it had used for 87 years. It has simply called itself the Washington Football Team ever since while working to rebrand.
“We believe we found a name that our fans and our team across the DMV (D.C./Maryland/Virginia area) and beyond can really rally behind,” team President Jason Wright said in the video.
“I think the fans want to see excellence in our branding, how we pull this off and how we play on the field,” he added.
The franchise received about 40,000 fan suggestions. While it’s not clear what the new name will be, Wright ruled out a couple of candidates Tuesday that were popular among fans, saying trademark issues prevent the organization from using the Wolves or RedWolves.
“The prospect of years of litigation wasn't something that we wanted you, our fans, to have to bear as you begin to embrace a new brand,” Wright wrote on the team’s website.
Former Washington quarterback Doug Williams, now a senior adviser to the team, said in the video: “Things about to change. I say whatever the change is, I'm hugging it.”
The video also shows head coach Ron Rivera immediately approving of the name upon seeing it, agreeing with Wright that it has the “right attitude.”
The franchise will also unveil new uniforms, which will retain its burgundy and gold color scheme. Williams and general manager Martin Mayhew, who also played for the team, were given a glimpse of the uniforms and gave their blessing.
“I believe in clean uniforms,” Williams, the Super Bowl XXII MVP, said in the video. “You just got the number and the uniform stripes around the shoulders, and that's it. That's going to be a good-looking uniform."
"They're really clean, really crisp,” Mayhew said. “They look cool, so I think the fans are really going to be excited about how the new uniforms look."
Washington was the first franchise in the four major North American professional leagues to drop its Native American imagery. Cleveland’s baseball team, formerly the Indians, has since followed suit by renaming itself the Guardians.