This week it was announced that the Washington Redskins were no longer a team in the NFL. Yes, all of the same staff and players will continue to work together to put together a campaign for the 2020 season, (if there is one), but they will no longer be “Redskins”.
Instead, the DC based football club will be playing under a new moniker, yet to be named, on account of the potential for offense that the previous name conjured.
This was a long time coming for a team whose name has been at the center of controversy for decades. Now, this reshaping of the image American sports appears to be building momentum, and it has several other organizations looking to make a possible change as well…starting with the Cleveland Indians and many more.
Along with the Indians, who recently announced they are in the early stages of evaluating a name change for the first time in 105 years, the Atlanta Braves, Chicago Blackhawks and Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs are among those facing backlash along with the potential of sponsors pulling their financial support.
For some, the time has come for widespread changes to sports nicknames, mascots and symbols as the country reckons with its legacy of racism.
“I understand people aren’t willing to change or so quickly, or they’re hoping this moment is going to pass. It’s not,” said activist Frances Danger, who is Muscogee (Creek) and Seminole from Oklahoma. ”And now that we’ve gotten what we needed on the Redskins side, we’re going to start working on the rest of them. We’re not going to let up.”
Top contenders for the Redskin’s rebranding included the “Warriors” or the “Red Tails” – the latter being an homage to the legendary fighter pilots known as the Tuskegee Airmen.
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