Washington Redskins: Is a Name Change Inevitable?

What is in a name? For many, a name means a lot. There is so much meaning behind so many names it is difficult to understand why so many people are smitten on it. Such is the case for the fan base of the Washington Redskins. Reports are out that several investors are now pushing sponsors to quit the team unless they change their name. This is causing a difference among the fan base. While most are of the old school and saying the name stays, some are coming out saying that maybe a change is due. In this article, we will look at both sides and offer some suggestions for a name change.

History

The Washington Redskins became the Redskins in 1933 after playing their first season as the Boston Braves. They remained the Boston Redskins until 1937. That is when the owner and founder George Preston Marshall (GPM) relocated the team to Washington D.C.

Under the team name Redskins, Washington has a vast history. Which is what you expect for a team that has been in existence for 87 years. Below are some of the team’s accomplishments

24 Playoffs Appearances

14 Division Championships

5 Conferences Championships

5 League Championships

                2 NFL Championships (Pre AFL-NFL Merger)

                3 Super Bowl Championships

As you can see, the team has been quite successful over the years. However, recently the team is in somewhat of a slump. New ownership took over the team in 1999. Since that time, the team has only had five playoff appearances and three division titles. This is prompting many to call for new ownership and some for even a name change.

The name change is one of the biggest controversies in history. The name and the represented logo is what is at the center of the controversy. It is the center of controversy of using Native American names, symbols, and images by non-native sports teams. Many believe that the name is disparaging and insulting.

There have been many polls have been taken on this. These polls have confronted Native Americans regarding the name being disparaging and insulting. In the most recent poll taken by UC Berkley in 2020, 49% of self-identified Native Americans responded. They considered the name offensive or very offensive, 38% said they were not bothered.

Time for a Change

While I am a historian on the name and the team maybe, it is time for a change on the name. The granddaughter of GPM has even so much as said it. Either way, I will still support the team. I cheer the players and not the name. I will always be a fan of the Washington Redskins or Washington whatever they choose to call them. The vast history of the team will always be there for the true fan.

I have sat here and stewed over this for a while now. My biggest thing would be a rebranding. I do not want a full rebranding that includes logo, colors, etc. Just maybe a small mascot change. Here are a few suggestions that the team could change to

Washington Generals

I feel, however, that this could end up being a complete rebranding with a new color scheme and all. If they could find a way to keep the color scheme, it may work.

Washington Sentinels

I saw this on a Facebook post and I like it. Referencing the name from the movie ‘The Replacements’. Many may not know that writers based the movie on the Washington Redskins team from the strike season of 1987.

Washington Red Hawks

I just cannot get behind a burgundy and gold bird. This is one of my least favorites.

Washington Senators

Taking a page from the old baseball team and using it to rebrand. Nonetheless, Senators sounds too soft to be a football team.

Washington Renegades

This is my favorite and would not take much more than a name change. The team could keep their colors. They could also recycle the old spear logo on the helmet. The organization can even keep the script R. Personally I think this is the most feasible.

What is your favorite name choice?

What are your feelings about the name change for the Washington Redskins? Given the recent news, is it inevitable? Leave a comment below.

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