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After 18 months of deliberations, the Washington Football Team finally has a new official team name: the Washington Commanders.
Previously, the team was known as the Washington Redskins, dating back to the team’s inception in Boston in 1933, four years before the club moved to Washington.
“As an organization, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation’s capital,” owner Dan Snyder said, according to the Daily Mail.
“As we kick off our 90th season, it is important for our organization and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy and the greats that came before us. We continue to honor and represent the Burgundy and Gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington.”
(Video: Fox 5 DC/YouTube)
The Commanders join Major League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians in removing any linkage to Native Americans in their team name or mascot. The Indians became the Guardians in July of 2021.
The NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the Atlanta Braves ball club have not announced any plans to change their team names.
The team will more or less retain the current color scheme of burgundy and gold, though they will be adding an alternate black jersey.
Earlier in the week, former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann uttered the new name to CBS Sports Radio.
“I think the Commanders is a name that is going to be one that hopefully people like going forward,” Theismann said. ‘There were so many different options, but once again it’s trademark infringement — it’s getting approval from different people. If you choose a name, is there a group out there that isn’t going to like it?”
It is hoped – whether overtly or not – that the new name will be a distraction from the recent losing season the D.C. area team suffered (not to mention the fact that they have they’ve won just three postseason games in the past 30 years) as well as recent allegations that owner Dan Snyder sought to prevent former employees from speaking to NFL investigators who were examining allegations of sexual harassment at the club.
The Supreme Court ruled in 2017 that a trademark law barring disparaging terms infringes on free speech rights. Prior to that, the United States Patent and Trademark office had tried to revoke the Redskins’ trademark because they alleged it was a negative racial moniker.
The team shared some insight into the 18-month rebranding process on its “Making the Brand” video series on the team website. The franchise said it had received nearly 40,000 fan submissions from 61 countries and all 50 states with suggestions for the new team name, from Legends to Wolfpack to Redwolves.
Reactions online were divided over the new name and uniform appearance, though leaning more in the camp of condemnation. Syndicated columnist Phil Kerpen summed it up thusly, “They renamed the Redskins the Washington Commies. It’s perfect.”
They renamed the Redskins the Washington Commies. It's perfect. https://t.co/LbVX0MwwkJ
— Phil Kerpen (@kerpen) February 2, 2022
One Twitter user wrote, “Honestly, I don’t know how I could ever not think of the Handmaid’s Tale when I hear this lol… so I’m going to keep calling them the Football Team.”
Another took a shot at the prior name, “Give credit to Washington, The Commanders is definitely the name of a group that would hate The Redskins.”
Mike Barber added, “No, I’m not blown away by the Commanders, but let’s be honest, this is America in 2022. People were going to hate whatever name Washington picked because that’s what people do.”
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) February 2, 2022
Welp . Today is my last day supporting this team. I wont be following THEM after the namechange ..I simply do not trust this organization anymore after making repeated promises the name wouldnt change . I AM A REDKSINS FAN NOT A COMMANDERS FAN ..sorry nice try but no !! pic.twitter.com/CBaQKNYq4D
— Etamoney Roe (@etamoneyroedc) February 2, 2022
A Commander is a naval rank. Not sure how that is associated with DC.
So, I’ve updated the lyrics to the team’s song:
Hail to the Commies!
Commies on the Ocean!
Fight for old DC!
— DudeDad (@DudeDadEsq) February 2, 2022
And how many $millions was spent on this? I give it a a few hours before someone cries “I’m triggered” over the new name.
You know since you’ve already knelt to the woke mob they’ll be coming back crying again over this name.
— C. Mervyn Graham ™® (@Daminous_Purity) February 2, 2022
Lmaooooo this what they came up with????? https://t.co/Nu26z3nS9j
— Anthony K. Dixon (@A_K_Dixon) February 2, 2022
It took you two years to come up with … “Commanders????” Commanders????!???
This is epically lame.
— TheValuesVoter (@TheValuesVoter) February 2, 2022
“Washington Commanders” is the fake name they use in a movie or video game because they couldn’t get the rights to the real thing.
— Varad Mehta (@varadmehta) February 2, 2022
I mean, it does fit the location, considering our federal government’s penchant for authoritarianism https://t.co/W0qQQQl8lg
— Ben Shapiro (@benshapiro) February 2, 2022
Buccaneers -> Bucs for short
Patriots -> Pats for short
Vikings -> Vikes for short
Commanders -> Commies for short
— David Burge (@iowahawkblog) February 2, 2022
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