Thursday, July 7, 2022

Washington Dubs Its NFL Team The Commanders, Ending A Not-So-Secret Naming Saga

The Washington Commanders are coming to town.

The NFL team officially announced its new name on the “Today” show Wednesday morning, ending weeks of speculation on the rebranding of one of the football league’s most troubled franchises after decades of criticism over a racially insensitive moniker.

“As we kick-off our 90th season, it is important for our organization and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy and the greats that came before us,” co-owner and co-CEO Dan Snyder said in a statement. “We continue to honor and represent the Burgundy & Gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington. Today may mark the first day for the Washington Commanders, but we are and always will be Washington.”

The team’s crest resembles a circular roundel, commonly used as a type of insignia on military aircraft. It features the year the team was founded, in 1932, the “W” logo, three stars, which represent the stars on the District of Columbia flag, and list the years the team won NFL championships and Super Bowls.

The final selection ends an 18-month saga over the franchise’s identity after the team dumped its old name, the Redskins, in 2020 after a half-century of pressure from Native Americans. The derogatory nickname had prompted advertisers to flee and the team to adopt a placeholder name, the Washington Football Team, as it searched for a new identity.

Different names had been teased online for weeks – Admirals, Generals, Presidents – and the team said it considered more than 40,000 public submissions.

A detailed view of a Washington Commanders logo during the announcement of the Washington Football Team’s name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on Feb. 2.

Rob Carr via Getty Images

The team itself seemed to blow the secret after a local news helicopter flew over FedEx Field in suburban Maryland on Tuesday night and filmed a giant banner with the Commanders name through a window.

The team’s president, Jason Wright, said last month that the franchise couldn’t wait “to hit the ground running with our team name and identity on a clear path.”

“While we’ve always understood it would be a nearly impossible task to select a name that all of our fans would identify with as their first pick, we are very excited about our final selection, which aligns with our values, carries forth our rich history, represents the region and, most importantly, is inspired and informed by you, our fans,” Wright said at the time.

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Nation World News Desk
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