If Washington is forced to change the team name, here are some of the best options.


The effort to get the Washington professional football team to change its name continues. Federal officials told team owner Dan Snyder on Thursday that he had to change the team name to “Redskins” if he wanted to move to the RFK Stadium site. Later that day, FedEx issued a statement indicating that he had asked “the Washington team” to change their name. According to an AdWeek report, FedEx was one of a group of companies (including Nike and PepsiCo) whose investors wrote to them asking them to end their dealings with Washington unless the team changes their name. The letters to FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo came from 87 investment firms and shareholders with a collective value of $ 620 billion.

Snyder has already said that he will never change the team’s name, but he has recently moved a bit renaming the lower bowl of FedEx Field. The lower bowl was named after longtime team owner George Preston Marshall, whose statue was removed from outside the RFK stadium last month. Marshall is the one who changed the team name from “Braves” to “Redskins”, and who both resisted the team’s integration and said he was proud that his franchise was the last to be integrated.

With the political and financial pressure exerted on Snyder, he may eventually break and indeed decide to change the name of the team. If and when this happens, there is no shortage of options. People have been trying to find alternative names for quite some time now, so there are a lot of potential solutions to this problem for him. In the space below, we’ll go through some of the most popular suggestions, as well as some that seem logical on the surface but that probably cannot happen.


This one is a no-go. Of course, it was the original name of the team; but if the team is forced to change its name due to potential racist overtones, then switching to another name that has potential racist overtones does not seem like a good idea. (The same concept applies to simply changing the name of the team to Skins.)


Naming the team after the famous offensive linemen who helped them propel three Super Bowls in the 1980s and 1990s seems like an interesting idea and there is already a built-in affinity for the name of the fan base, but there is also far too much potential for … different interpretations if you name a team the pigs. I can’t say I would recommend this one. (Our own Michael Bohlin suggested the Warthogs, which was the name of the Washington indoor soccer team, but if a variation of “Hogs” will win, it’s probably the usual style, rather than the Warthogs .)


University of Miami (Ohio) useful suggested this one, all the way back in 2014. While that would make a smooth transition for Eric Kay, programming director of CBS Sports, who is both a Washington fan and a former Miami (Ohio) fan, it seems unlikely that the team would choose to become the second to make this exact name change. (ie “Redskins” at RedHawks)


This seems unlikely for several reasons. First, the Senate has a disastrous approval rating, so I’m not sure anyone would want to defend senators. Most importantly, Washington nationals still have the nickname “Washington Senators,” so it wouldn’t be possible even if Snyder wanted to honor the city’s original baseball team. (Unless he bought the name of Randy Lerner. But that seems even more unlikely.)

Americans / generals / other military name

One of the other Washington teams is called the Capitals. Naming the team after the Senate (or the House of Representatives) seems like a horrible idea. But it is based in the capital of our country, so you know that some people will suggest naming it either from the country itself, or from one branch or another of the armed forces. Personally, I think the teams should be much more creative than that. You can appoint an American or general team in any city in the country. The name should be specific to Washington in some way.

Bravehearts / Warriors / Renegades

Each of these names has the advantage of not changing too much the overall aesthetic of the team. They could probably keep the spear logo, which looks really cool on helmets, for example. (Just drop the pen, probably.) With the Renegades, the team could also keep the “R” logo in place. They wouldn’t have to change their colors and the fight song could easily be changed to replace a word, and one of these options would work. It’s probably the simplest route the team could take without making drastic changes.

Red tails

It’s the name that won a design competition many years ago, and I honestly believe it. This is a nod to the planes flown by the aviators of Tuskegee, an all-black squadron of fighter pilots and bombers who fought in World War II and were the first black military airmen in the United States Armed Forces. Three of the first five airmen admitted came from Washington, which gives the Redtails a specific connection to the city. The team could easily keep the “R” colors and logo, while moving from a name with potential negative connotations to a name with extremely positive connotations that honors the city, the armed forces and black Americans.


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