What is still relatively new could become the future for the Washington Football Team.
Earlier this year, Washington ditched its longtime ‘Redskins’ nickname after years of public outrage. Instead of adopting a name like the Red Tails or Red Wolves, Washington added ‘Football Team’ at the end of its name.
Although they will complete this season as the Washington Football Team, Jason Wright — the team’s first-year president — just provided an intriguing update about the franchise’s next name.
Washington changed their name over the summer
Throughout the 2010s, the Washington Redskins dealt with controversy regarding their name.
Everyone from late-night talk show hosts to South Park openly discussed the controversy and owner Daniel Snyder’s reluctance to change the name.
Everything finally changed this summer, and quickly. Washington retired the ‘Redskins’ name in July following a review of the team’s name.
Rather than immediately change to another nickname, the franchise once known as the Washington Redskins became the Washington Football Team.
Names like that are not common among the four major professional sports in North America. However, European soccer teams often have their city/location followed by FC, or Football Club.
Several Major League Soccer teams do the same in America.
The ‘WFT’ has had a challenging 2020 season
Erasing any reminders that the franchise once called itself an offensive name hasn’t been the only thing on the Washington Football Team’s plate this fall.
Although Washington opened the season with a Week 1 victory over Carson Wentz and the Eagles, they entered Week 11 with a 2-7 record. Somehow, that is only tied for third in the pitiful NFC East Division, and Washington has an outside chance at making the postseason.
Head coach Ron Rivera underwent chemotherapy and proton therapy for squamous cell cancer. Rivera coached through his seven weeks of treatments and received his last round of both in late-October.
Not all has been bad in Washington this year, however. Veteran quarterback Alex Smith returned to the field in October, nearly two years after he suffered a potential career-ending right leg injury.
Smith, who had 16 additional surgeries to address the compound fracture, is now Washington’s starting quarterback.
Rookie defensive end Chase Young, the No. 2 overall pick in April, had 3.5 sacks and a forced fumble in his first eight games.
What will the Washington Football Team’s name be next year?
Fans of the Washington Football Team — both the team itself and the new name — may be in luck.
In an interview with ESPN, team president Jason Wright said the current name is “definitely in the running.”
“With this one, people are excited about the idea of a club has an identity rooted solely in the area it represents. Maybe it’s Football Team or it’s Football Club. We need to get underneath the why, so no matter what direction we go, we can pull on the heartstrings of folks.”
Wright said two other choices, Red Tails and Red Wolves, are both in the running.
Wright said Washington could emphasize “conservation and animal rights” by choosing Red Wolves.
“That’s a compelling idea; an idea around the fan experience of a howl that would fill the stadium,” Wright said. “Underneath for us is to understand why. Are we an environmentally savvy fan base across fan groups?”
As for Red Tails, Wright said, “you have to go big on vets.” The Tuskegee Airman used the Red Tails nickname.
Washington is expected to decide on a permanent name at some point next year.