Just when you thought it couldn’t get any worse for the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins, it’s happened. The team is heading into the 2020 season without a nickname. That’s right, the football team that doesn’t even play in Washington now doesn’t even have an identity. The team is embarrassingly scheduled to play the 2020 season as the Washington Football Team.
How did we get to this point?
The Washington Redskins name had been in existence for 87 years. The topic of a name change had always come up, but never turned serious until the death of George Floyd on May 25. Floyd, a black man, was killed by a white police officer who kneeled on Floyd’s neck for more than eight minutes during an arrest.
Floyd’s death sparked nationwide protests and brought the subject of racial injustice to the forefront. Colin Kaepernick, the former San Francisco 49ers quarterback, returned to the spotlight. It was Kaepernick who originally opened the eyes of social injustice when he was kneeling during the national anthem to protest police brutality and other racial injustices.
This triggered talk about the Washington Redskins nickname once again. The nickname is seen by many as being a racial slur to Native Americans. Daniel Snyder, who once said he would never, ever change the nickname of the team he owned, caved in when he was pressured financially by team sponsors.
Washinton retires the nickname ‘Redskins’
When FedEx, the company that owns the naming rights to the stadium where the Washington Football Team plays, threatened to pull out of the deal, team owner Daniel Snyder felt the heat. Not only did FedEx fire financial bullets at Snyder, but so did Nike and Amazon, who said they were pulling all merchandise from their sites.
In a July 13 article in The Washington Post, the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins issued a statement. “As part of this (review) process, we want to keep our sponsors, fans and community apprised of our thinking as we go forward,” the team said in its statement. “Today, we are announcing we will be retiring the Redskins name and logo upon completion of this review.”
Once the name was retired, however, the team ran into trademark issues. A Virginia man named Philip Martin McCaulay outsmarted Daniel Snyder. McCaulay went out and trademarked many of the potential names that would suit the Redskins, delaying the name change.
The team will be known as the Washington Football Team
Daniel Snyder has certainly had a rough couple of months. If getting bullied by sponsors wasn’t bad enough, getting bullied and outsmarted by someone in the trademark department was even worse. But worse than both of those is having your franchise now known as nothing. For the time being, they will be known as the Washington Football Team.
It’s embarrassing and it wreaks of incompetency. Call them something for crying out loud. Make them the Hogs for the year in honor of the offensive linemen from the glory days of the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins. Call them the Lizards, Snakes, Wildcats, anything.
In recent years, the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins hasn’t had a whole lot of success on the football field. Having zero identity and bring labeled the Washington Football Team might be their biggest loss of all time.