Washington's NFL franchise officially announced on Monday the retirement of the "Redskins" nickname, a moniker the franchise held since 1933. While the team said goodbye to its former name, the club has yet to announce what they'll be known as going forward. In the statement announcing the retirement of the "Redskins" name, the team also stated that owner Dan Snyder and head coach Ron Rivera are working closely together to develop a new team name and design for the franchise going forward.
If they are taking suggestions, they could look to Navajo Nation president Jonathan Nez for some assistance. In response to Washington retiring its now-former team name, Nez released a statement suggesting the club take on "Code Talkers" as its next name. This would be a nod to the code talkers who used Native American languages for the U.S. military to send encrypted messages during World War II.
"We strongly encourage the NFL Washington organization to rename their team in such a way that truly honors and respects the First Americans of this country," the statement reads. "Renaming the team 'Code Talkers' to honor the Navajo Code Talkers, and other tribal nations who used their sacred language to help win World War II, would set the team on a path to restoring its reputation and correcting the historical misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples."
The "Redskins" name has been looked at as a racial slur towards Native Americans for years and mounted pressure from fans and corporate sponsors have finally pushed the franchise to walk away from it. If they were going to go down the road with "Code Talkers" that would be a step in restoring the club's image. That said, it would appear as if "Code Talkers" is facing an uphill climb to actually be the club's new name. Washington is reportedly planning to have no Native American imagery as they begin this next phase in the franchise's history, but they reportedly plan to keep its colors of burgundy and gold.
What also may be throwing a wrench into Washington coming to a swift decision on a new name is a possible trademark battle after a D.C. man spent more than $20,000 to trademark a bunch of prospective names for the club.
Meanwhile, Warriors and Redtails have been among the names most linked to the franchise.