The Washington Football Team has a new name. Introducing the Washington Commanders.
One legacy. One unified future.
— Washington Commanders (@Commanders) February 2, 2022
The announcement came Wednesday morning, two years after the team initially changed its name prior to the 2020 season. The name change came after years of pressure from Native American organizations to move away from the team’s nickname of more than 80 years.
“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,” co-owner and co-CEO Daniel Snyder said in a statement. “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 & 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.”
Co-CEO Tanya Snyder told ESPN’s Adam Schefter in September that the team was down to eight final names. The names were the Armada, Presidents, Brigade, Commanders, Redhawks, Defenders, RedWolves, and the Football Team.
In January, Washington Team President Jason Wright announced that RedWolves — a fan favorite — would no longer be considered as the team’s new name due to trademark issues.
“Early on we understood Wolves — or some variation of it — was one of our fan favorites,” Wright said in a statement on the team’s website. “As I’ve said all along, we take feedback from our fans seriously, and because of your interest in this name, we put Wolves on a list of options to explore fully. Once we began looking into Wolves, however, we became aware of a notable challenge: trademarks held by other teams would limit our ability to make the name our own. And without Wolves, variations like RedWolves wouldn’t have been viable either for these and other reasons.”
The Commanders are not the first professional sports franchise to change its name in recent months.
In July, the Cleveland MLB franchise changed their name from the Cleveland Indians to the Cleveland Guardians.
“We are excited to usher in the next era of the deep history of baseball in Cleveland,” owner Paul Dolan said in a statement. “Cleveland has and always will be the most important part of our identity. Therefore, we wanted a name that strongly represents the pride, resiliency and loyalty of Clevelanders.”
“‘Guardians’ reflects those attributes that define us while drawing on the iconic Guardians of Traffic just outside the ballpark on the Hope Memorial Bridge. It brings to life the pride Clevelanders take in our city and the way we fight together for all who choose to be part of the Cleveland baseball family. While ‘Indians’ will always be a part of our history, our new name will help unify our fans and city as we are all Cleveland Guardians,” Dolan added.
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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