The “thorough review” into Washington’s team nickname that began on July 3 has concluded, and the franchise intends to announce Monday that it will retire the “Redskins” name, according to SportsBusiness Journal’s Ben Fischer. The franchise has been called the “Redskins” since 1933, before it moved from Boston to Washington in 1937.
It is not known at this time what Washington will choose as its new nickname, but Mike Jones of USA Today reports that the franchise will also reveal a new team name on Monday morning. However, Fischer reports that Washington will not share any of that information on Monday because of pending trademark issues are preventing that from occurring in a timely fashion. Washington is planning to scrap all Native American imagery but would like to retain its original colors of burgundy and gold, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported earlier this week.
The franchise’s moniker has been a controversial topic for years with Native Americans petitioning the team to change it on multiple occasions. Washington owner Daniel Snyder had long been resistant to changing the name, telling USA Today in 2013 that he would “never change the name. It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”
However, after stadium naming-rights sponsor FedEx threatened less than two weeks ago that it would end its partnership with Washington, the team clearly began to feel real pressure for change, perhaps for the first time.
On Saturday night, ESPN’s John Keim reported that Washington was close to having a new name “sooner rather than later,” adding that Snyder apparently said he had started talking to the NFL about this decision three weeks ago.
“Warriors,” a name Snyder was reportedly interested in using for an Arena Football League franchise, is believed to be among the top candidates. Recently, CBS Sports’ Jared Dubin created a list of possible name options for Washington. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins is in support of “Redtails,” a name that has an intriguing history as it pays tribute to planes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first Black military aviators who served in the United States Army during World War II. Three of the first five admitted airmen were from Washington, serving as a connection to the city and the armed forces.
It will be a tall task to replace all logos, merchandise and design new uniforms before the beginning of the 2020 season if Washington indeed does plan on changing its name immediately. Over the past week, several companies have ceased selling Washington merchandise as the pressure to change the team name reached new heights. Monday will apparently bring a new beginning for the Washington franchise.