Washington Football Team: The quest for a new name.

The Washington Redskins changed their name to Washington Football Team, but why?

The Foundation

Washington Football team was founded in 1932 by George Preston Marshall. The team was called the Boston Braves back then, Braves baseball team was the inspiration for the name.

After one year they changed their name to Boston Redskins in 1933. In 1937, they moved to Maryland, Washington and changed their name to Washington Redskins. The biggest defeat The Redskins hold is the worst one-sided loss in NFL history with 73 to 0 in favor of the Chicago Bears which was a championship game in 1940. The Redskins and Bears started an early rivalry and met two more times in NFL Championship games, resulting in a two-time victory for the Bears compared to a solo win for the Redskins.

Super Bowl Wins

In the 1982 season the Redskins won their first Super Bowl when they defeated the Miami Dolphins 27 to 17 where John Riggins was awarded the Super Bowl MVP.

The Redskins won their second Super Bowl in the 1987 season where the Washington Redskins beat the Denver Broncos 42-10, the game took place in 1988 in San Diego, California. This game is more famous for the amazing performance by quarterback Doug Williams who passed 4 touchdowns in the second quarter.    

                                                    

They won the Super Bowl again in the 1991 season. The Washington Redskins that won the Super Bowl XXVI are still being acknowledged as one of the best teams in NFL history and for good reason. The 1991 team started with a franchise-record of 11 consecutive wins. They also only had nine sacks against them that season which is the 3rd lowest total in NFL history. Team offense dominated under their brilliant coach Joe Gibbs who helped them score 485 points which was the highest score in the 1991 season. Team defense was also super strong, they only gave up 224 points in total which was the second best in the 1991 season. They also didn’t allow a single point to 3 of the 16 opponents. The Redskins posted a 14-2 record, after which they dominated the playoffs with a combined score of 64-17. On January 26, 1992, the Redskins beat the Buffalo Bills with a score of 37-24, resulting in a triumphant win of the annual Super Bowl. The Super Bowl MVP award was later presented to Mark Rypien.

Redskins name and logo controversy

Washington Football Team used “Redskins” as base for their branding, logo and team name from 1933 up till 2020. They are part of the Native American mascot controversy due to the offensiveness of the term “Redskin”.

Multiple associations of citizens, like the National Congress of American Indians (NCAI) see the name as a racial slur and tried to have the team change is for decades. The team supporters countered saying that they only used the name with respectful intend and only when they spoke about their team. Annenberg Public Policy Center tested the Native American opinions about whether they found the name Redskins and the logo that goes with it offensive in 2004. They found that 90% didn’t. In the year 2016 The Washington Post also did a poll about this and got very similar results. But public opinion found that the polls where not specific and that they could be done better. so in 2020 social scientists did a study to measure the in detail opinions of the Native Americans. This study was done by social scientist from the University of Michigan and California. The answers they received where totally different then previous results. They found that 49% had responded that the name “Redskin” was offensive and those numbers increased to 67% for the ones that are more involved with their Native American culture.

This topic got a lot of attention after the George Floyd incident and the followings protest in 2020 and begged the question is the therm “Redskin” a racial slur. According to a group of investors worth $620 billion it is because they wrote letters to major sponsors like Nike, FedEx and PepsciCo to pressure the Redskins. And they listened, because Nike removed their Redskins apparel from their website and FedEx called the team to change its name. Therefore the team did a review, and they decided to depart from their name and logo. They now play under the name Washington Football Team but their new name is supposed to occur by 2022.

Predictions made by Jared Dubin, writer for CBS sports.

Braves
This doesn’t seem likely because they already had to change their name because of a offensive and controversial therm. I think they learned their lesson with this and wouldn’t change their name to something that has potential to be offensive.

Hogs
This seems like an interesting idea as ‘Hogs’ has always been directly associated to the Redskins, because of the famous offensive linemen that got the team qualified for three Super Bowls. But it could be interpreted various different ways so maybe they do a little spin on it.

Senators
This doesn’t seem like good name because the Senate has a awful approval rating, so im not sure anybody would cheer for the Senators.

Bravehearst/Warriors/Renegades
All of these have potential because they can keep the overall look, like the spear on the helmet (if they remove the feather).

With the name Renegades they could keep their R logo. The team could keep their colors and the changes they would have to make to their song are minor.

Redtails
This seems like a excellent name because with “Redskins” they got a lot of negative attention with their name but with Redtails they could get a lot of positive attention because they are honoring an all Black squadron of fighter/bomber pilots who served in World War II named the Tuskegee Airmen. They where the first United States Armed Forces military pilots to be black. They also have a connection to Washington, three of the first five confirmed they were from Washington. This makes it an even better fit because the name also has a direct connection with the city Washington. An other benefit would be that they wouldn’t have to change their team colors burgundy and gold, and they could keep the R logo in place.

Merchandise

At a lot of retailers the Washington Redskins merchandise has been taken off the shelves. This made the search for merchandise with the old team logo a lot harder than before. At Forelle we do still have Redskins merchandise in stock. If you're feeling nostalgic and don't want to forget the team that took home a few Super Bowls, click the button below to start looking for Washington Redskins merchandise.

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Washington Football Team: The quest for a new name. - Forelle American Sports Equipment