After a week of speculation, it appears Washington will change the name of its franchise in the near future. On Saturday night, ESPN’s John Keim reported that Washington is close to having a new name “sooner rather than later.” After Washington announced on July 3 that the team would be reviewing its name, the feeling was it would be a quicker process, according to Keim. Sources close to team owner Dan Snyder apparently said that he had started talking to the NFL about this decision three weeks ago.
This is somewhat of a big development, as many wondered whether Washington would change its name before the 2020 season, or announce that the franchise would wait to choose a new moniker following the 2020 season — as training camp is quickly approaching. Keim also mentioned that Snyder once had a desire to own an Arena League team, and intended to call them the “Warriors.” Earlier this week, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported that Washington is planning to scrap all Native American imagery, but that the team is likely to retain its original colors of burgundy and gold “as of now.”
Recently, CBS Sports NFL writer Jared Dubin created a list of possible name options for Washington, and “Warriors” was one of his suggestions. Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins is in support of the Redtails, and this name has an intriguing history. The Redtails pays tribute to planes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first Black military aviators who served in the United States Army during World War II. Three of the first five admitted airmen were from Washington, serving as a connection to the city and the armed forces.
It will be a tall task to replace all logos, merchandise and design new uniforms before the beginning of the 2020 season if Washington indeed does plan on changing its name in that time frame. Over the past week, several companies have ceased selling Washington merchandise as the pressure to change the team name builds. More than ever, a name change appears to be imminent.