Rumors have recently started to surface about a nickname change in our nation’s capital. According to ESPN, a member of the Washington D.C. council plans to submit a resolution calling for a name change for D.C’s beloved NFL franchise. The councilman calls the name “racist and derogatory” and that it is “time for a change.”
D.C. councilman David Grosso has proposed a replacement name for the ‘Skins that is sure to rub some fans the wrong way.
His current proposition? The “Redtails.”
Yes, the very same “Redtails” movie that hit the big screen starring Cuba Gooding Jr. The name change, says Grosso, would be in honor or the pioneering group of African-American pilots that served for the United States during World War II.
Grosso is on record for saying that he just doesn’t want the moniker to be offensive. “[Redskins] fans can still sing the song and everything,” he said. “Hail…to the…Redtails.”
The D.C. councilman and his 13-person group have all agreed to sign the proposed resolution, though according to The Examiner, it would be non-binding.
The new name is sure to rub Washington’s fanbase the wrong way. While most NFL supporters agree that it is time for a change, the recommended nickname is lackluster at best. D.C. fans would have a tough time rallying around a name that has no history with the franchise or the capital city itself.
Other professional D.C. franchises have nicknames that are spot-on for the location. Baseball has the Nationals, Hockey has the Capitals, and Basketball has the Wizards. Ok, so forget the last one, but the other two are highly marketable and catchy.
A board of five Native American petitioners has to show a committee that the “Redskins” name was harmful in any way to the group of American Indians when the NFL team was granted trademarking rights from 1967 to 1990. This group cannot stop the team from continuing to use nickname in the future, but the board is hoping that the affect on marketing as a result of the loss of trademarking protection will be enough to sway the team to change their team name.
Should the name be changed, it would not be in the immediate future. A similar case held in 1992, won by the team, took nearly 17 years through the legal system before a resolution.
With controversy slowing creeping into the equation, Washington would be best suited to find an alternative name change that does not negatively impact the current Redskins faithful. Since titles like the Capitals and Nationals are taken, the biggest franchise in the D.C. area should look to find a patriotic substitute. Replacing an offensive label with an Americanized one would be in the best interests of the team. Impromptu examples include either the Generals or the Commanders, references to hosting the President of the United States. Ultimately, the Washington Redskins organization will be the ones to make that call.
“In the end, what I’d love to call them is World Champions,” said Grosso.
More stories you might like