Washington Football Team changes its name to the Washington Commanders

Washington Commanders
(Image credit: Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Say goodbye to the Washington Football Team and hello to the Washington Commanders.

The Washington Football Team on Wednesday officially revealed its team name has been changed to the Washington Commanders. The team's new name and logo were unveiled on the Today show and in an announcement video shared via social media.

Team president Jason Wright told Today the new name has "the weight and meaning befitting a 90-year-old franchise" and is "something that broadly resonated with our fans." Plus, Wright added, it's "something that, importantly, we can own and grow for the next 90 years." Co-CEO Dan Snyder said the new name pays "homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation's capital."

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The Washington Commanders were formerly known as the Redskins, but the team announced in 2020 it would rebrand due to criticism that the name was a slur against Native Americans. Since then, the team was simply known as the Washington Football Team, and it said Wednesday the new name was picked after an 18-month "collaborative effort with our fans, alumni, players and local DMV community." Among the names in consideration included the Red Wolves, but Wright previously said that "trademarks held by other teams would limit our ability to make the name our own."

A new logo was also unveiled Wednesday, and the team said the "symbol carries forward an element of the Washington Football Team chapter in the franchise's history and acknowledges the team's deep Washington roots."

On the Today show, Craig Melvin, noting that the team's previous name was "widely viewed as racist," asked Wright whether the NFL has a race problem, especially in light of former Miami Dolphins coach Brian Flores' bombshell lawsuit against the NFL over alleged discriminatory hiring practices. "When ownership is fully committed to diversity," Wright said, "when they're really all in, change can happen very rapidly."

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