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Washington Football Team renamed 'Commanders' 18 months after retiring 'Redskins'
Washington retired the nickname 'Redskins', which it had been known as since 1933, in 2020 after pressure from the Native American community and team sponsors in light of its racist connotations
Last Updated: 02/02/22 6:07pm
The Washington Football Team has announced it will now be known as the 'Washington Commanders' after adopting a new name and logo.
The unveiling comes 18 months after the franchise retired its 'Redskins' nickname following pressure from the Native American community and team sponsors in light of its racist connotations.
Washington's new name and logo was seemingly leaked prior to the Wednesday reveal by the team as an eagle-eyed helicopter reporter working for NBC, Brad Freitas, tweeted footage of 'Commanders' branding in the team store.
Washington had launched a review of its name in light of multiple sponsors threatening to terminate financial agreements, including the stadium naming rights deal with FedEx.
Team co-owner Dan Snyder, who bought the franchise in 1999 and had previously resisted calls for a name change, said in a news release: "As an organization, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation's capital.
"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.
"We continue to honor and represent the Burgundy and 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."
Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann said during the ceremony the new name represents, in part, "the leadership quality we see in the organization as we go forward."
"I like the name Commanders," he added. "It has a ring to it. It has a sense of authority to it."
The team had been known as the Braves while based in Boston up until 1933 when they switched to the Redskins, before then-owner George Preston Marshall relocated to Washington four years later.
Baseball followed suit last year as the Cleveland Guardians stepped away from their 'Indians' nickname and Wahoos logo, while rugby union side Exeter Chiefs recently dropped its use of Native American imagery.