Latest On Commanders’ Nickname, Logo

The Commanders have used their current nickname for the past two seasons after spending the prior two years as the Washington Football Team and the 83 years before that as the Washington Redskins. Last summer, a group led by Josh Harris purchased the club, and although there have been rumblings that new ownership may want to change the name or even revert back to the Redskins, that is not the case, per Nicki Jhabvala of the Washington Post.

Prior owner Dan Snyder, who repeatedly insisted that the “Redskins” moniker would never change, finally succumbed to sponsorship pressure to make a switch towards the end of his tenure. Harris & Co. have said before that there is no intent to change the current name, but recent events have made some skeptical of that proclamation.

For instance, during the club’s rookie minicamp earlier this month, new head coach Dan Quinn wore an (unlicensed) T-shirt that featured the feathers that were a prominent part of the Redskins’ logo dangling from the stylized “W” that represents the entirety of the current Commanders’ logo (via JP Finlay of NBC Sports Washington).

As Eric Flack of WUSA9 wrote last week, Sen. Steve Daines (R-Montana), a key member of the Congressional committee advancing a bill that would give Washington, D.C. control of the RFK Stadium site — which would be used for a new stadium for the Commanders — is demanding that the team bring back the Redskins’ logo. To be clear, Daines is not advocating the use of the “Redskins” name, and in remarks prepared for a hearing on the proposed legislation, he wrote, “[m]ake no mistake, this logo was inspired and envisioned by [Blackfeet Tribe member Blackie] Wetzel as a tribute to Native Americans. It is not a caricature. It is a description of pride and strength. Of courage and honor.”

Additionally, the team recently posted birthday wishes to longtime linebacker London Fletcher on X, and in so doing, it used an image prominently featuring the Redskins’ helmet. As Mike Florio of Pro Football Talk observes, the team’s social media birthday wishes to Fletcher in prior years included images in which the Redskins’ logo was not visible.

As Florio opines in a separate piece, “there are no accidents,” and he believes matters like Quinn’s T-shirt are “trial balloons” to test the public response to the old name and logo (although the team had no official comment on the T-shirt). While it would be hard to imagine Harris deciding to bring back the “Redskins” name, it would be less difficult to see the team incorporate elements of the prior logo, especially in light of the merchandising sales it could generate.

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