TAYLOR COUNTY—With only six weeks until the NFL season is scheduled to begin, the team formerly known as the Washington Redskins has indicated that it wants more time to find a long-term nickname and will push forward with removing all references to the Redskins, but in the meantime will be known simply as “The Washington Football Team.”
The announcement comes 10 days after franchise owner Dan Snyder succumbed to growing pressure to drop the name which had long been considered offensive to Native Americans.
Snyder had vowed to never change the team name, but sponsors began to threaten withdrawing from the organization in the aftermath following the death of George Floyd and the growing popularity of the ‘Black Lives Matter’ movement.
In a statement released by the team, the decision to use the new name for this season allows the franchise the ability to shoulder an in-depth rebranding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community, and sponsor input.
Washington’s color scheme of burgundy and gold will not undergo any changes, and its former logo on the helmet will be replaced by each player’s number in gold. They will debut their home uniforms in Week 1 against the Philadelphia Eagles and its road uniforms in Week 2 against the Arizona Cardinals.
According to WFT Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer Terry Bateman, the team wants to include fans, alumni, and business partners in the rebranding process, but stresses that such an extensive solution will take time.
“You’re doing a rebranding process that correctly takes 12 to 18 months,” said Bateman. “If you want to do it right, you have to take a deep breath, take a step back and go through the process. We want to do it right. We want something thoughtful and inclusive and smart and bring a lot of points of views into this and come out the other side with something everyone is proud of and can rally behind.”
He also states that the experience thus far has been positive, and he is confident of where the project is headed.
“It feels organic and natural to do this. I love the look of what we’ve done,” Bateman added. “It’s really strong. I like the logo and the uniforms and the colors. There’s a tremendous amount of work to do for the next 50 days to do all this. It’s a tremendous amount of work to go through this. The new will go up, and the old will go down.”
In the meantime, fans will be able to purchase Washington Football Team merchandise from the NFL Shop and on the Fanatics website in the upcoming days.