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02nd Feb 2022

NFL franchise Washington Football Team team rebrand as ‘Commanders’

Callum Boyle

The franchise came under pressure to retire their former name

Washington Football Team have unveiled their new name as ‘Washington Commanders’ after they were forced to retire their previous name.

The franchise revealed a brand-new logo and name on Wednesday – 18 months after they were forced to retire their old name following pressure from Native American communities and sponsorships due to its racist connotations.

A statement on the Commanders’ website read: “Today the team has revealed its new name and brand identity, the Washington Commanders. This new identity embodies the most powerful aspects of Washington’s story by paying tribute to the team’s rich history and championship culture, personified by mission-driven players who take command, forge success and break barriers on and off the field.

“The result of an 18-month collaborative process with fans, alumni, players, community leaders and stakeholders across the D.C., Maryland and Virginia (DMV) area, Commanders brings to life the commitment to service and leadership that defines the DMV community. Importantly, the team’s new identity also represents the values that bond the Burgundy & Gold family, including resilience, grit, tradition and unity, and honours the progress and potential of its present and future.”

CEO of Washington, Dan Snyder continued by saying: “As an organisation, 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.

“As we kick-off our 90th season, it is important for our organisation and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy and the greats that came before us.

“We continue to honour 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.”

For the most recent NFL season, Washington were largely known as ‘WFT’ as they planned for their rebrand. Since Washington’s decision to rebrand, another NFL franchise has come under scrutiny to change.

The Kansas City Chiefs have also come under pressure to change their name for similar reasons. Meanwhile in the UK, rugby union outfit Exeter Chiefs recently revealed they would end their Native American-themed branding in the summer and adopt Celtic imagery instead.

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