The Washington Football Team reveals new name

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Alexis Davis, theSCORE Lead Reporter

Feb. 2, 2022, after almost 9 decades with its former name and its short tenure as the Washington Football Team, the nation’s capital team has decided on the Washington Commanders as its new name.

When most fans heard the name, they instantly began to wonder about its origin. Washington D.C. plays an integral role in the nation’s military. Due to this, the franchise chose to make this a part of their name. The term commander surfaces when referencing the navy.

The franchise began its search for a new name in July 2020. The quest for the team to acquire a name occurred around the time of George Floyd’s death in Minnesota. There began to be an outcry from spectators on the previous name being offensive.

The Native American references have been left in yesterday for the Commanders. With the change in imagery, the franchise decided to stick with its burgundy and gold roots.

Once the initial discussion of Washington changing its name began on July 3, 2020, in the middle of the pandemic, there was a quick turnaround. Less than two weeks later, the team announced that they would now be going by Football Team.

While making this announcement, Washington assured fans that this was only temporary and that a name is in the making. Washington did not give fans a timeline, but they knew it takes trial and error with a few names. The team’s rebrand also called for marketing and reworking its partnerships with a variety of major brands.

Washington Commanders owner Daniel Snyder spoke about the possibility of changing the team’s name dating back to the beginning of 2013. Snyder appeared to not waiver on his stance when it came to changing the name.

Prior to the official shift in July 2020, Snyder was quoted multiple times saying reporters need to put his comments about the name in all quotes. These comments point towards the franchise coming a long way on his journey to rework the name.

When searching for a new name, trademark issues arose. Many outlets that have been following the quest for the name since its origin also mention Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera having prior discussions about changing the name, but it was met with little action.

The RedWolves were a close runner-up to grace the front of Washington’s uniform. N.C. A&T students from the DMV (Washington, D.C., Maryland and Virginia) area have mixed opinions on the franchise’s new name.

“I don’t like the name because the name is too militaristic and doesn’t really have anything to do with the history of the DMV,” civil engineering senior Xavier Dameron continued. “Also, my family has been season ticket holders for 60 years and the change in name is somewhat a slap in the face to fans who have been loyal to a fault for a long time in my opinion.”

Other N.C. A&T students think the fans and other parts of the NFL should have been involved in the decision-making process.

“The franchise should have voted,” sports science senior Mikaela Robinson said. “The name does not fit the team or the actual culture of the DMV.”

N.C. A&T students also have strong feelings about the team’s prior controversial name. Some state that even with the new name, they can not see past the team’s once racial issues.

“I’ve grown up living down the street from Fedex Field,” marketing sophomore Kyndal Cooke said. “Despite going to countless games, I could never be a fan of the now Commanders because of its previous name. Although the commanders isn’t creative, it gives their name a little flare. The name also isn’t culturally or racially insensitive.”