American Football Article

Redskins No Closer to New Name

Redskins No Closer to New Name Photo: TT
Redskins no closer to new name

The American football team known formerly as the Washington Redskins, are still undecided what the name of the franchise should be in the future.

The team which was originally known as the Boston Braves when it was founded in 1932, changed its name to the Redskins a year later, before the franchise moved cities to Washington in 1937.

The name had been controversial for years because of its racial connotations with native American Indians, but the team owners had resisted all attempts to change it until earlier this year. That was when the wave or protests that swept the USA and the world in the wake of the Black Lives Matter Campaign saw major sponsors and commercial partners, like FedEx, Nike, and PepsiCo, force a change of mind.

With leading bricks and mortars, and online, retailers like Walmart, Amazon and Target refusing to stock Redskins merchandise any more, the team bowed to the inevitable, and realised that the name had to go.

They have now begun an intense internal debate about what the new name should be, but it may be a year or 18 months before a final decision is made.

For the time being, they have adopted the temporary generic Washington Football Team, but nobody is pretending that is a long-term solution, with many people mocking them for adopting such an unimaginative moniker.

The team has decided to retain its burgundy and gold colours, meaning that their fans still have some way to identify themselves with a franchise that has won the Super Bowl on three occasions, and clinched five NFL titles.

And at least Washington fans still have an NFL team, unlike those franchises which have upped sticks and moved to a different city altogether. That has seen, in recent years, the St. Louis Rams moved to Los Angeles, The Tennessee Titans relocate from Houston, and Cleveland lose the Ravens to Baltimore.

However, in a league where teams have names such as the Seahawks, the Eagles, the Lions and the Patriots, Washington face a big challenge to come up with something of symbolic significance to them and their fan base.

Suneer chowdhary
Sports Pundit staff writer @suneerchowdhary
ICC-accredited cricket journalist, covers Team India through their cricketing journey around the world

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