For years, people across the world have demanded the Washington Redskins consider changing their name.
In light of recent events, Dan Snyder and the Redskins may want to revisit those conversations. Names and images across the country are changing for race-related and political reasons.
If the Redskins needed any more incentive to consider changing the name, recent stories from the team’s hometown paper may spur those talks. Here’s why.
The Washington Redskins’ name is a controversial one
From Robert Griffin III to Sean Taylor, the Washington Redskins have had plenty of stars in the last 20 years.
Ultimately, the team is arguably known more in the 21st century for its controversial name than its accomplishments on the field.
Conversations persisted throughout the 2010s about the Redskins potentially changing their name. Redskins owner Daniel Snyder repeatedly said he doesn’t plan on renaming his team.
The NFL has not, and may never, mandate a name change.
One of the Redskins’ local papers just demanded a name change
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has been firm in his beliefs. So long as he owns the team, the Washington football franchise will keep its Redskins name.
Recently, several key figures in the Washington, D.C., area have demanded the team reconsider its stance. D.C. Mayor Muriel E. Bowser (D) recently said it’s “past time” for a name change.
Now, The Washington Post has re-entered the conversation. The Redskins’ hometown paper’s editorial board recently explained their position that the team needs to find a new name.
“This should be an easy call. Mr. Snyder — or, if Mr. Snyder refuses to back down from his declaration of ‘NEVER,’ the NFL — should take advantage of this singular moment in history to get on the right side of history,” the Post says. “Change the name. NOW.”
The Redskins had not commented on the paper’s stance as of June 20, 2020.
Will the Washington Redskins ever change their name?
The Washington Redskins have seen one piece of the team’s history impacted by the swarm of change.
The statue of former Redskins owner George Preston Marshall, the last NFL owner to integrate his roster, was recently removed from RFK Stadium, the Redskins’ old home.
Events DC, which is in charge of RFK Stadium, removed the statue.
The ball for changing the Redskins’ name, as of now, is in Dan Snyder’s court. If he doesn’t want to rename the team, the NFL likely won’t force him — and may not legally be allowed to order a change.
The Cleveland Indians removed the ‘Chief Wahoo’ face from their uniforms in 2018 because of an unofficial compromise between the team and the league. If Cleveland ditched the offensive image, the Indians could host the 2019 MLB All-Star Game.
NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, for his part, has defended the Redskins’ name and said he listens to fans and those offended by the name and imagery.
Dan Snyder is firmly set in his beliefs, but the 2020s are already proving to be a decade of change. Could the Washington Redskins’ name be next?