The Washington NFL franchise is retiring the term “Redskins” and there are at least five options for the name change which was motivated by money rather than the team having a true racial sensitivity chip.
This comes about a week after FedEx formally asked team owner Dan Snyder to change the name or the company would pull their sponsorship.
FedEx is a primary sponsor of the team, and holds the naming rights to FedEx Field, where Washington plays. That same day, Nike removed all apparel from its website that included the word “Redskins.” Apparel from every other NFL team remained.
“Dan Snyder and Coach Rivera are working closely to develop a new name and design approach that will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years,” the team said in a statement.
So now that Washington is moving on from its old name, we take a look at some potential new names for the franchise.
1. “Washington Redtails”
The Washington Redtails is a name that started gaining traction this month.
“The name Redtails celebrates the WWII Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces,” the graphic reads. “The nickname Redtails comes from their planes, which had a distinct crimson tail.”
This name works for a variety of reasons. It allows Washington fans to keep the “HTTR” motto, the color scheme remains mostly the same and it honors the Tuskegee Airmen.
Quarterback Dwayne Haskins even likes this one.
2. “Washington Warriors”
This name still draws some controversy. On one hand, it continues to keep Native Americans in mind while removing the term “Redskins.” But on the other hand, many people have an issue with Native Americans being used as a mascot at all.
This is likely a name the franchise will consider, but since people are already having problems with it, switching to Warriors doesn’t seem like it’d be a smart move.
It is worth pointing out that Snyder trademarked the name “Washington Warriors” in 2000. He was planning to use it for an Arena Football League team, but that team never developed.
UPDATE: D.C. radio host Kevin Sheehan said during a podcast he had it “on pretty good authority” that Warriors is the leading contender for the Redskins’ replacement name.
“I don’t think that’s a reveal by any stretch,” Sheehan said. “I think people do know that the Redskins have marked Washington Warriors just in case, and that this has been the way. I would bet big money on the Warriors being the new name for the football team.”
3. Washington Hogs/Washington Red Hogs
The Hogs were the nickname for the Washington offensive line that helped the franchise win three Super Bowl titles during the 1980s and early 1990s. Snyder said he wants to honor the “proud tradition and history of the franchise,” so what better way to do that than to name your team after the group that helped you win Super Bowls?
The offensive line was simply called “The Hogs,” but if Washington wanted to get a little more creative, it could go with Red Hogs. The Red Hog is an actual animal, and it would allow the team to maintain its color scheme.
4. Washington RedHawks
Designer Brandon Moore mocked up a logo and uniform design for RedHawks, a name that gained attention in 2017 due to a bizarre hoax. A group of Native American activists began tweeting out links that mocked the design of websites like Sports Illustrated, ESPN and others. But the websites were fake. (You can read more details on that movement here.)
The group of Native American activists explained why RedHawks was a valid name change in a statement.
Official Statement on #GoRedhawks campaign by Native advocates. “We created this action to show the NFL and the Washington Football franchise how easy, popular and powerful changing the name could be.” https://t.co/WBlk1WRR6n pic.twitter.com/M7uMBbbw7V
— Washington Redhawks (@redhawksdc) December 13, 2017
This wouldn’t be the first time a sports team changed its name from Redskins to RedHawks. Miami of Ohio made this switch during the 1997-98 school year.
5. Washington RedWolves
The RedWolves is a name that started gaining traction from fans late in the process. Even some former Washington players praised the name. Will Compton tweeted his support tweeting, “I’d want to come back to Washington for one day and retire a Red Wolf.”
Fred Smoot also praised the name on NBC Sports Washington.
“It is an endangered species. It allows us to keep the ‘HTTR,'” Smoot said. “It allows us to keep the burgundy and gold. It allows us to have some crazy uniforms. Like I said before, I can see 80,000 people in FedEx Field howling like wolves after Chase Young gets a sack to win a game.”
Some other names that have been floated out there include the Renegades, Defenders, Senators and Sentinels. The Sentinels would mimic the fictional team from “The Replacements.” And even though the XFL is dead, it seems unlikely the Redskins would just pick up the D.C. Defenders’ team name.
The Senators got some early traction, but according to The Washington Post, the Nationals still own that moniker, and that’s probably a good thing. “Senators” doesn’t draw much excitement.
Other names center around Washington’s political theme like the Washington Trumps…which is a longshot.