After weeks of uncertainty, the Washington NFL franchise took another step in retiring its long-time moniker. On Thursday, Washington announced that they would be called the "Washington Football Team," effective immediately. This is not a final renaming and rebranding for the team, this is just the name they want to use until the pending adoption of a new name in the future.
In addition to this name change, ESPN's Adam Schefter reports that Washington will indeed not have any change to its color scheme, but the original team logo on the helmet will be replaced by the player's number in gold. The Washington Football Team will continue the process of retiring their team name and hopes to be entirely rid of it on physical and digital spaces in the next 50 days, by the Sept. 13 regular-season opener against the Philadelphia Eagles.
Washington will not have any change to its color scheme. It will still use burgundy and gold. The Redskins logo on the helmet will be replaced by the player’s number in gold. The Washington Football Team will debut its home uniforms in week 1 against the Eagles. pic.twitter.com/8DpC6b0Tyj— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) July 23, 2020
Washington will use these uniforms and helmets for the 2020 season but will be seeking feedback of players, alumni, fans, sponsors and the community for the new team name it will use at some point in the future. Fans will reportedly be able to purchase "Washington Football Team" merchandise from Fanatics and NFL Shop in the coming days.
This comes after the club announced on July 13 that it had retired the "Redskins" moniker, which had been associated with the franchise since 1933. The now-former name has been a controversial topic for years, with Native Americans petitioning the team to change it from the racial slur. The straw that seemingly broke the camel's back in this endeavor was the power of corporate sponsors. FedEx, which is in the middle of a multi-million dollar stadium naming rights deal with the club, said in a private letter to the team that they would pull its signage from the venue if the name wasn't changed, citing that it goes against the shipping giant's "people-first philosophy." Along with FedEx, other major business partners like Nike, Target, Walmart, and Amazon have all removed team gear from their websites.
Recent reports indicated that pending trademark issues were the only holdup to the team unveiling its new identity. It remains to be seen when exactly Washington would like to change its name -- whether that be as soon as possible or at the end of the 2020 season.
Several Washington players such as defensive linemen Jonathan Allen and Ryan Kerrigan posted edited pictures of themselves in the new uniforms shortly after this report surfaced -- and they appear happy with the change.