The Washington Football Team said on Tuesday that it would unveil a new name and “identity” on Groundhog Day, Feb. 2. This is the culmination of an 18-month rebranding process that started when the team lost a lot of corporate sponsors who didn’t like its old name.
In July 2020, the N.F.L. team changed its name because of pressure from fans, sponsors, and Native American groups. The 87-year-old name had long been seen as a racial slur of Native Americans. The organisation used the simple name as a placeholder while it looked for new images. It has been a while since the RedWolves, Admirals, Generals, Armada, Presidents, and other new names were announced. They were teased in social media posts and in statements from the team’s president, Jason Wright.
The public-facing effort is the most recent attempt to fix one of the N.F.L.’s most troubled teams, which has been involved in a lot of off-the-field scandals to go along with years of poor on-the-field results.
Tuesday’s announcement came just a few days after Washington was once again cut from the playoffs. Sunday was the team’s last home game of the season. The Philadelphia Eagles came into the game with a 16-point lead. The team lost 20-16 to the Eagles. After the game, many Eagles fans reached down to say goodbye to their team’s quarterback, Jalen Hurts, as he left the field. When a railing broke, they fell almost 10 feet into a tunnel at FedEx Field. A fan at least went to the hospital. Hurts was not hurt.
“What next steps are being taken?” Hurts asked in a letter on Tuesday. He also wrote to the Washington Football Team and the National Football League. Sean DeBarbieri, a spokesman for the team, said Wright got the letter and said he would like to talk to Hurts.
During a statement on the team’s website, RedWolves fan favourite names were ruled out because they conflicted with trademarks owned by other teams, which “would make it difficult for us to make the name our own.”
It will be nice to have a new name and logo to look forward to in four weeks. When the majority owner of the team was in a fight with three longtime limited partners in 2020 and 2021, it was very bad. A lot of fights and mudslinging had been going on for a long time. The league’s owners agreed to let Snyder buy out his former partners for $875 million and completely own the team.
At the same time, the league took over an investigation into reports that a lot of women who worked for the team were harassed. These claims go back nearly 20 years. NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell hit the team with a record $10 million fine in July. He also told owner Bruce Snyder to stay away from the team’s facilities for a few months, setting a new record. Even though lawyers for some of the women who made accusations and members of Congress had asked Goodell to make the findings of that investigation public, he did not.
Also, the Washington Football Team was criticised by fans for retiring the uniform number of Sean Taylor, who was killed in a home invasion when he was just 27 years old. This came after the New York Times published emails in which Jon Gruden made homophobic and misogynistic remarks to Bruce Allen, the team’s former president.
Three days after the announcement, Taylor’s jersey retirement ceremony took place, leaving little time for his former teammates to come. Taylor’s family posed for photos with the street sign renamed for him where the team had set up a line of portable toilets; the brother of Kansas City quarterback Patrick Mahomes danced on the on-field logo with Taylor’s number.
Wright said in a statement that “we screwed up the execution, and we know that we hurt many of our fans deeply.” For that, I and our group are sorry.
Fifty-one thousand and seventy-seven tickets were sold for that game, far less than FedEx Field can hold. Washington is last in the 32-team league when it comes to attendance. Only 64% of the seats at home games are filled.