Washington’s NFL franchise recently spent two years with a temporary nickname to the one they have now. However, it appears the fan base would like to change it now that ownership has changed.
The Washington Commanders, formerly the Washington Redskins and briefly the Washington Football Team, dropped the “Redskins” name in 2020 amid widespread racial tension following the murder of George Floyd. Previous owner Dan Snyder promised he would never change the name no matter what, but eventually had no choice once the pressure became too much. The Washington football franchise moved to change its name in response to pressure from big-name corporations such as Nike, FedEx, and PepsiCo.
Picking up momentum is the Native American Guardian Association constructing a petition asking that the Commanders NFL franchise change the name back to “Redskins.”
“The name ‘Redskins’ carries deep cultural, historical, and emotional significance, honoring the bravery, resilience, and warrior spirit associated with Native American culture,” the petition reads. “It was never intended as a derogatory or offensive term but as a symbol of respect and admiration.”
Changing the name abruptly disregards the positive legacy that the Redskins name has built over the years and disorients the passionate fans who have invested their emotions, time, and unwavering support in the team,” the petition adds.
One of the videos they produced was also making its rounds on Twitter.
As of this writing, the petition has over 41,000 signatures.
After a recent transition in ownership, Magic Johnson has hinted that the team could rebrand again as soon as 2024. Johnson now holds a minority stake in the team.
When asked about “Redskins” being used by the new ownership group, head coach Ron Rivera responded.
“Well, I know this, Mr. Harris and that ownership group talked extensively about bringing back the glory,” Rivera said. “And again, what Coach Gibbs did, the traditions, that alumni group of guys that are around. It’s hard to escape it. It really is. That’s just the truth of the matter. Just so everybody knows, we do that with the utmost respect for the native tribes and for the American Indian. Anytime that’s brought up, it is brought up with the utmost of respect.”
Owner Josh Harris is likely the first person to see the list in an effort to pressure him into such a move. However, this is an uphill battle that will likely not see the light of day given how long and how much it took for the team to get rid of the nickname the first time around.
The team may not be the Commanders for long, but they certainly will never be the Redskins again.
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