It’s been several weeks since the Washington Football Team elected to change their name. Since then, it has generated plenty of responses with much of that centered on Washington finally taking a step forward away from their previous moniker that had a racial connotation. However, it’s a decision that hasn’t entirely drawn positive reactions as retired tight end Vernon Davis voiced that the name change hurt him.
Washington Football Team changes their name
After many years of pushback from team owner Dan Snyder regarding a name change, he obliged to the increasing public demand.
That all came after the financial stakes were raised for the franchise after FedEx, who holds the naming rights to the franchise’s stadium under a $205 million deal that extends through 2025, requested the team to change their name. It has also seen sponsors, such as Nike, Amazon, and Pepsi, pressuring the organization to make that move.
That alone forced Washington’s hand to make the change as there was a significant financial loss involved. It led to Snyder announcing in early July that the franchise is retiring their former team name. The monumental move was primarily met with positive feedback around the team deciding to remove the racial slur. However, not everyone was entirely excited about the decision.
Vernon Davis is hurt by Washington’s name change
The Washington Football Team’s decision to change their name hasn’t been entirely met with a positive reaction.
Some have pushed back at the move citing different reasons for wanting the franchise to keep their previous name. Recently retired tight end Vernon Davis is among those that wanted it to remains as he voiced to TMZ Sports that it ‘really hurt” him emotionally as he always wanted to play for the Redskins.
“I grew up a Washington Redskins fan, right?” the ex-NFL tight end tells us. “I’ve always wanted to play for the team as a kid. I always had dreams and aspirations to play for that team.”
“So, for them to change the name, it really hurt. It hurt deep down inside.”
Davis got to play for the franchise before the name change as he spent the last four years of his career with the team. The 36-year-old is a Washington D.C. native, which makes the name change much more impactful because of his fandom connection. He also voiced that he understands the move because of the business reasons.
The name needed to be changed because of the racial connotation that the previous word had toward Native Americans. Davis also voiced that he wants the fans to be happy and is all for doing the “right thing” in the situation. More than anything else, it’s a change that impacts him greatly because of the history the previous moniker has associated with the team.
When to expect new team name
Since Washington elected to change its team name, there remains no clarity regarding when they will settle on a new moniker.
The franchise is taking a thorough approach to their name search as many different potential options have been tossed around. That has seen the Red Tails, Warriors, and RedWolves all garner traction from fans as the possible replacements. Washington is taking its time with the selection process as their next choice will be crucial in reshaping the organization’s image, identity, and culture.
Head coach Ron Rivera did voice that the team could go the entire 2020 season without a new name selected. Ultimately, there isn’t any rushing with the move, but instead focusing on making the right choice.