Redskins to be called ‘Washington Football Team’ this season
Name to be temporarily used following retirement of brand July 13
The Ashburn-based National Football League team formerly known as the Washington Redskins will call itself the Washington Football Team this upcoming season until it formally adopts a new permanent name, the team announced Thursday.
“The decision to use ‘Washington Football Team’ for this season allows the franchise the ability to undertake an in-depth branding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community and sponsor input,” according to the statement from the Washington Football Team. “We encourage fans, media and all other parties to use ‘Washington Football Team’ immediately.”
The football team tweeted its temporary branding on Thursday, saying, “It begins here…”
It begins here… pic.twitter.com/CHCCZ64W81
— Washington Football Team (@WashingtonNFL) July 23, 2020
On July 13, the team announced it would — after 88 years — retire the Redskins name and logo after weeks of discussion over what many see as a derogatory name for Native Americans. The decision was made following a June 3 statement saying it would undergo a “thorough review” of the team name, “in light of recent events around [the] country.”
Starting Friday, and during the upcoming 50 days prior to the team’s opener against the Philadelphia Eagles, the team will retire all Redskins branding from its team properties, including FedEx Field and Redskins Park.
On July 2, the team’s stadium sponsor, FedEx, sent a private letter to the football franchise stating that FedEx would remove its signage from the stadium after its 2020 season unless the team changed its name, The Washington Post first reported. The shipping giant signed a $205 million deal for stadium naming rights in 1999 and it isn’t set to expire until 2025.
“We have communicated to the team in Washington our request that they change the team name,” Memphis-based Fedex later said in a released statement.
The Washington Football Team in recent weeks has faced media turmoil between its announced name change and an exposé by The Washington Post detailing the experiences of 15 former female Washington Redskins employees who said they were sexually harassed and verbally abused during their time with the team.
Despite a losing streak and name controversy, the Washington Football Team in 2019 had the seventh-highest NFL team valuation at $3.4 billion, according to Forbes.