After almost nine decades using it, the nickname of the NFL team based in the nation’s capital will change permanently, sometime soon.
According to team officials, the Washington Redskins organization has decided to rebrand itself, both with a new logo and a new nickname. The announcement came as FedEx, who sponsors the stadium the team plays in, demanded that the team’s name change. Native American groups have had a mixed reaction to the term “Redskins” being used as the team’s moniker, though none have really denied its racist legacy. The word was used by white Americans to describe any native American, a group of people subjected to genocide and forced exodus from where they lived, onto reservations.
Groups have been lobbying the team’s ownership for years to change the name, but those overtures have mostly been met with a quick dismissal. Now, as the country has witnessed weeks of sustained protests over the killing of unarmed black suspects at the hands of the police, society seems poised to make large changes in popular culture. Several statues and monuments to confederate soldiers and generals have been removed or toppled in recent weeks, and the Washington football team changing their name seems to be at least in some part related to that larger cultural movement.
Not everyone, however, has been pleased to see the world they live in changed so drastically as to have a team of millionaire athletes owned by a billionaire mogul renamed right out from under them. In a nod to those less than ecstatic fans who would prefer to keep their sports teams traditional and at least tacitly racist, the team’s ownership announced today that they are still going forward with the renaming and rebranding. However, the team’s new name and logo will be in “honor and deference to the fans who are so bothered” by the name change.
“I don’t think any of us here in the front office were surprised to find out that there were some people who were offended by us changing the name to something less offensive to other people,” Washington’s deputy chief media director Susan McGillicuddy told reporters today. “However, even though the group of complainers and whiners is significantly smaller than the number of people who were happy about, or at the very least didn’t give to flying pig shits about us changing the name, the don’t ever, ever shut the fuck up about it. We wanted to just move on with life, so after much careful consideration, we landed on a new logo and name that will honor the people who were devastated by us not using a racial slur as our nickname anymore.”
Beginning next season, the team will play under the banner of “The Washington Snowflakes.” The team’s logo will change accordingly. Fans can begin purchasing new jerseys, hats, and other merchandise with the new branding sometime later this year.
“With all the melting down we’ve seen on social media about us changing our name,” McGillicuddy explained, “it only seemed natural to name the team after all the people who complained about it. Why it even matters to them, when most of them aren’t native and even fewer of them attend our games, is anyone’s guess. But if it means that much to them, the least we can do is honor their legacy by naming the team after them.”
With COVID-19’s pandemic outbreak still ravaging the country, it’s unclear when the NFL’s next season will begin.
Writer/comedian James Schlarmann is the founder of The Political Garbage Chute and his work has been featured on The Huffington Post. You can follow James on Facebook, Spotify, and Instagram, but not Twitter because Twitter is a cesspool.