First they were the Washington Redskins, then they were the Washington Football Team, then they were the Washington Commanders, and now they could be going back to the Redskins?
To be honest, it’s all pretty confusing, but one of those things that would be really funny if the team just came “full circle” on the name and went back to what the NFL team was from 1937 to 2020.
There have been rumblings that the football team in the nation’s capitol could be exploring a name change in the post-Dan Snyder era. It will be interesting to see what options they would have if they do decide to go through with the third name change in the past four years.
If they do decide to go through with another name change, the Washington… whatever the hell you want to call thems will apparently face some flack from a group called the Native American Guardian’s Association (NAGA).
The group has gathered over 100,000 signatures encouraging the team in Washington to change back to their former Redskins name. The NAGA argues that dropping the Redskins name abruptly disoriented the fanbase that had long been behind the team, and might have even caused some to drop their fandom altogether.
The Native American Group also believes that the Redskins name was never meant to be derogative, saying in a statement within the petition:
“We believe that restoring the original name, the Redskins, is the right decision for the team, its loyal fanbase, and the legacy it represents.
The name ‘Redskins’ carries deep cultural, historical, and emotional significance, honoring the bravery, resilience, and warrior spirit associated with Native American culture. It was never intended as a derogatory or offensive term but as a symbol of respect and admiration.”
Clearly they have a great amount of support in their petition, but it will ultimately be up to the new ownership group (and those within the NFL) to choose and approve a new name. Changing the name away from the Redskins might have been confusing, but deciding to change it back might even be more of a head scratcher at this point.
You would definitely still have certain groups of people that would consider the name offensive, which is why the NAGA confronted that potential push back later on in their petition statement:
“We acknowledge the concerns surrounding cultural sensitivity and the need to foster inclusivity. However, we firmly believe that there are alternative ways to honor and respect Native American heritage without erasing it.
By reclaiming the Redskins name, we have the opportunity to engage in meaningful dialogue, educational initiatives, and collaborations with Native American communities.
Together, we can promote cultural appreciation, address misconceptions, and work towards a more inclusive society.”
And while they are at it, they are also putting it out there that they wouldn’t mind for the Cleveland Guardians to be changed back to the Indians as well.