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The Washington New Name Options Lack Creativity

Washington New Name Options

Washington D.C. has been one of the national epicenters of the country’s reckoning on racism. Not even the NFL’s Washington “Redskins” were exempt from public scorn and scrutiny. The time was right for the franchise in Landover, MD to finally abandon their offensive team logo and name. But team owner Daniel Snyder wouldn’t relent–until the loss of billions of dollars forced historic change. Fedex threatened to end its $8 million naming rights deal for the Washington stadium. Nike stopped selling the team’s gear. Walmart, Target, and Amazon stated they would stop selling Washington’s merchandise. Synder had no choice. The team announced it will retire the “Redskins” name and debut a new team name and logo. But a week after Snyder’s bombshell announcement, the rumored names leave a lot to be desired. The Washington new name options lack creativity. Perhaps Snyder and company are distracted by their own toxic work culture.

The Top Options For a New Name

Social media has been abuzz with suggestions from fans and NFL observers since the beginning of the month. Some of the most popular names online are the Sentinels, the Pigskins, the Warriors, RedHogs, and Federals. Other fans have suggested a name synonymous with D.C. professional sports–the Senators. But depending on who you listen to, Synder has narrowed down the choices to two new names. The Washington Red Tails or Red Wolves. Nicknames building off “Red” would allow Washington to use a preexisting marketing acronym, Hail to the Redskins, (HTTR).

If you’re not sure what’s a “Red Tail,” it’s a homage to the Tuskegee Airmen from WWII, who were known as the Red Tail Squadron. The Tuskegee Airmen were the first African American soldiers to successfully complete and enter the Army Air Corps (now Air Force). New head coach Ron Rivera expressed a desire to honor the U.S. military with the new team name. But this new name could confuse some fans. Red Tails also has a connection to the Navajo tribe. If the idea is to avoid co-opting indigenous cultures again, shouldn’t Washington avoid all Native American symbols?

The second contender, Red Wolves, has gained traction in the media and on sportsbooks. USA Today reports Red Wolves is 6/1 to be the name of the franchise at But isn’t naming your sports franchise after an animal played out? From a branding perspective, animals, like wolves, certain animals are fierce in nature. Owners hope the implied level of intimidation translates to the playing field. Plus, animals can’t complain about the use of their name and likeness.

More Creative Names

The NFL Washington franchise stands at a critical junction in its history. At times of crisis, it’s important to show the public forward progress. What this means to Snyder and Co. is that a name that harkens back to the team’s heritage is over. Don’t worry about existing color schemes or marketing slogans–turn the page. The team needs a fresh look and a new team name. How about bringing back the name Senators to reflect the political environment of the District of Columbia? If you want to be more creative, while remaining political, call them the Washington Delegates or Timbers.

From the list of popular online Washington new name options, the Sentinels option is intriguing. The Washington Sentinels is the name of the fictional pro football team from The Replacements movie starring Keanu Reeves. The film is loosely based on the 1987 NFL strike and specifically the “Redskins.”

Washington Scandal

The NFL franchise in Washington seemed poised to announce the new team name before the end of July. Various media outlets reported the only delay was last-minute trademark negotiations. Then the Washington Post published a bombshell report chronicling accusations made by fifteen women who previously worked for the “Redskins” on July 16. The report described episodes of sexual harassment and verbal abuse by former scouts and members of Daniel Snyder’s inner circle. The anticipated release of the article may also have played a part in the departures of three team executives. Former director of pro personnel Alex Santos, former assistant director of pro personnel Richard Mann II, and radio play-by-play announcer and senior vice president Larry Michael left Washington in the weeks leading up to the article.

There were also rumors of harassment and mistreatment of the Washington female dance crew and allegations of unprofessional behavior by former head coach Jay Gruden. With all this uncertainty swirling around the team, three minority shareholders are reportedly seeking to sell their interests in the team, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. Now it seems the debut of the new team name is on the backburner.

Snyder Needs to Turn the Page

The Washington franchise, especially under the ownership of Daniel Snyder, has been a laughing stock. Snyder is widely considered one of the worst owners in the NFL and possibly all professional sports. Since Snyder acquired the team in 1999, the “Redskins” have a losing record and gone through eight head coaches. 

It’s vital for the NFL franchise in Washington to turn the page and establish a new identity. Snyder has found creative ways to charge fans for everything from parking at summer training camp to peanuts from a defunct airline. It’s time the organization applies the same creative energy to the options of the Washington “Redskins” new name, logo, and branding.

Update: Washington announced it will call itself the “Washington Football Team” on Thursday, July 23. Again, there were much better new name options.

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