Washington Football Team might have the worst name in NFL franchise history, but they are sticking to their principles.
Washington have had an NFL franchise since 1937. Back then, and up until a year ago, they were known as the Washington Redskins.
Fast forward to a season under the new 'Football Team' moniker, and the team are keen to distance themselves even further from their past.
In 2020, they were forced to move away from the 'Redskins' branding after years of pressure from opposing parties. Team owner Dan Snyder hung on for dear life to keep it.
The name was deemed as discriminatory and offensive to the American indigenous community. Media outlets chose to call them simply 'Washington' or 'Washington Pro Football Team'.
— New York Post (@nypost) July 14, 2020
Two polls were carried out in the 2010s, where nearly 90% of Native Americans didn't find the name offensive. Snyder referenced the polls in an attempt to keep the name.
Nonetheless, after lots of social unrest in the U.S. in 2020, a letter was penned to the key team and league sponsors such as Nike and Pepsi to cut ties with Washington until they changed their stance.
For fear of huge financial fallout and sponsorship loss, Washington agreed to disassociate themselves from the 'Redskins' name and be known as 'Washington Football Team' until 2022.
Now, they've gone a step further in sticking to their new branding focus. They have banned fans from wearing Native American headdresses at their home stadium.
Along with this, fans will be banned from wearing face paint that resembles that of Native American tradition at FedEx Field.
— Josh Taylor (@JoshTaylorWFT) August 4, 2021
Loyal fans will have to clear out their accessory cabinet in the wake of the upcoming NFL season. The stereotypical look of a Washington fan will change significantly.
Washington follows Cleveland's baseball team in the move. They were known as the Indians but have now changed their name to the Guardians.