Renaming the DC NFL Team

Renaming the DC NFL Team

Last week, DC’s professional foorball team announced that its name, an historic racial slur, was “under review,” evoking the image of a booth full of league replay officials staring at a slo-mo recording of the letters r-e-d-s-k-i-n-s. Owner Dan Snyder once said he would “NEVER change the name of the team,” but that play is clearly out-of-bounds in today’s climate of heightened racial awareness.

It wasn’t the death of George Floyd or kneeling team players that changed Snyder’s narrow mind, but his own bottom linesponsors, investors, and business partners are applying pressure. Nike, Target, Walmart, Amazon, and Dick’s Sporting Goods have removed DC team-branded merchandise from their websites and stores. How’s this for irony: FedEx, which owns naming rights for the DC squad’s stadium, now wants the team to change its own name.

Although nobody has suggested renaming the squad “Washington Rappas” in honor of the region’s Rappahannock people, there is no shortage of suggested team names and logos. The current fan favorite is “Washington Redtails,” after WWII’s African American 332nd Fighter Group (maybe you saw the movie). In an only-in-Washington move, two local lawyers have already submitted a trademark application for “Washington Redtails.” Hey, how about calling the team “The Litigators”?

A name change is expected by September.

More:

“D.C. NFL Team Considering Name Change After Public And Corporate Outcry,” Eliza Berkon, WAMU

“An NFL Name Change That Has Been a Long Time Coming,” Leonard Shapiro, Washington City Paper

“FedEx asks ‘the team in Washington’ to dump racist nickname as Nike pulls gear,” The Guardian

“Daniel Snyder no longer has a choice, and he knows it. Battle over name has reached its endgame.” Jerry Brewer, Washington Post

“Lawmakers And FedEx Urge D.C.’s NFL Team To Change Its Name Amid Bid For RFK Stadium,” Kavitha Cardoza, DCist

“Trump Supports Washington Team Name. Retailers Pull Merchandise.” Ken Belsen, New York Times

Update:

“FedEx Made a Demand Dan Snyder Couldn’t Afford to Dismiss,” Ken Belson and Kevin Draper, New York Times

 

More about the new documentary here.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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