DC’s National Football League (NFL) franchise, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, announced Thursday that it will go by “Washington Football Team” until it agrees on a new name.
The team recently decided to officially drop its former name which is widely considered to be offensive towards Native Americans.
“The decision to use ‘Washington Football Team’ for this season allows the franchise the ability to undertake an in-depth branding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community, and sponsor input,” the team said in a press statement.
“To date, we have been pleased to see so many people putting forward their vision of what the new name and design should be on their social media channels and we look forward to including their feedback as this process progresses.”
It begins here… pic.twitter.com/CHCCZ64W81
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) July 23, 2020
The team will start the process of retiring all Redskins branding in the next 50 days, starting Friday, according to the statement. The name and logo will be removed from FedExField, Redskins Park, and other platforms owned by the organization, both physical and virtual, in the near future.
The removal process is expected to be completed by September 13, when the team’s home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles is scheduled.
“We encourage fans, media and all other parties to use ‘Washington Football Team’ immediately,” said the statement.
The NFL team added that it will keep its burgundy and gold color scheme, but there will be changes to the look of the players, who will be wearing new uniforms this season.
On July 13, the team announced that it would be changing the “Redskins” nickname and logo after 87 years, following mounting pressure from sponsors and the NFL.
Prior to that, they had announced they would launch a thorough review of the name, after major sponsors including FedEx, Nike, PepsiCo and Bank of America pushed the team to change its name.
In recent weeks, Amazon said in a notice to its sellers that it was starting to withdraw Redskins merchandise from its online platform, giving them 48 hours to review and remove items featuring the team’s name or logo.
Other prominent companies like Walmart and Target have also stopped selling the team’s merchandise on their online stores.
The name “Redskins” has been publicly criticized for years, however, it caught even more attention after the nationwide racial justice protests in response to the police killing of George Floyd, an African American man, in Minneapolis.
“We’ll never change the name,” said Dan Snyder, owner of the Redskins, was quoted as saying by the media regarding the problem in 2013. “It’s that simple. NEVER — you can use caps.”