After a two year wait, the NFL team in America’s capitol changed its temporary name of the Washington Football Team to the Washington Commanders.

Washington Commanders new nickname team name uniforms logo NFL
The Washington Commanders officially changed their name, logo, and uniforms today from the placeholder name of the Washington Football Team. (Image: Patrick Semansky/AP)

In 2020, the team shed its former racist moniker and began an exhaustive search to find a new nickname. On Wednesday, they announced a new team name, logo, and uniforms.

“Native Americans will no longer be subjected to such an offensive and harmful slur every Sunday during the football season,” said Ray Halbritter, the nation representative and CEO of Oneida Nation Enterprises. “It’s a great moment for Washington fans. They want to support a team, to love a team, and now they won’t be put in position having to do that with a dictionary-defined slur as a name.”

The upcoming season marks the 90th year of existence for the Washington Commanders. The pro football team in the Washington, DC area held its original nickname for 87 years before using the placeholder name for the last two seasons.

The team will retain burgundy and gold as the primary colors in their uniforms, but the Commanders also released an all-black version of the uniform with gold numbers and letters featuring a burgundy trim.

The Washington Commanders went 7-10 last season as the Washington Football Team and finished in third place in the NFC East, which is widely considered the worst division in the NFL.

WFT New Name Finalists

The Red Wolves were a favorite among Washington Football Team fans, but due to a copyright squatter, the team quickly moved on from renaming the team after the local wildlife. The Washington Defenders were the most popular name in a recent poll, but it lost out to the second-best choice and the Commanders.

Other nicknames that bubbled included the Washington Monuments, Washington Presidents, Washington Armada, Washington Brigade, Washington Red Tails, and Washington Red Hogs. There was even some consideration to keep the placeholder name with the Washington Football Team in perpetuity.

Some nicknames were disqualified for its relationship with other teams and franchise such as the Washington Generals from the old USFL and DC Defenders from the XFL. That’s why the Washington Generals were quickly dismissed, as much as everyone loved the Harlem Globetrotters and their comedic foil the Washington Generals.

In July 2020, the Washington Presidents opened as one of the betting favorites at +300 odds, followed by the Generals at +400. A couple of weeks later, the Red Tails took over as the betting favorite at +300.

Fans also suggested the Alliance, Owls, Revolution, and Rough Riders.

Last year, the MLB franchise in Cleveland decided it was time for the team to move on from another racially-sensitive nickname and they changed their name to the Cleveland Guardians.

In the last couple of decades, many collegiate teams dropped Native American tribal names or other pejoratives as their nicknames and mascots. That included the St. John’s Red Storm and Syracuse Orange.

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