Why the Redskins Need to Change Their Team Name Now

| June 17, 2020 2:18 am PDT

Daniel Snyder isn’t the type of guy who is easily persuaded. The owner of the Washington Redskins has forever tried to pay his way to a Super Bowl, very rarely listening to outside advice along the way.

Newsflash: it hasn’t worked.

Since purchasing the Redskins in 1999, Snyder has watched Washington go just 2-5 in the playoffs.

One other thing he hasn’t been overly receptive to? Embracing the reality that his franchise’s name and mascot are seen by some as racially insensitive.

Native Americans have been pleading their case for years that a name like this is at best insensitive and at worst completely racist.

Regardless of which side of the fence you’re on, it’s at least an uncomfortable topic.

The #ItsTimeForChange narrative has been going on for years, and in the wake of a louder Black Lives Matter movement, it’s possible the NFL and the Redskins collectively feel the pressure to take a stand for good.

Teams change cities, and the idea of changing names and mascots is constantly broached. The Redskins listening to the public and donning a new name and logo may not be the worst idea.

Should the Redskins ever be forced to change their name — or decide to do so on their own merit — it’s worth wondering what that’d look like.

The best sports betting websites tend to offer prop bets for all types of wagers. If this happens, an actual list of potential mascots should emerge, and before long, you may be able to bet on the new Redskins name.

If/when that happens, here are a few name ideas Washington should consider and why.

Warriors

There are a lot of racial connotations that can be attached to any mascot that is suggested as a representation of the Native American community.

However, the term “warrior” isn’t necessarily just referring to Native Americans. It also is already used in the NBA (Golden State) and could be viewed as a viable compromise.

Hogs

This one is far less likely, but it does reference some of Washington’s football tradition.

The Hogs reference the Redskins’ offensive line in the 1980s and 1990s and sparked some fans to come to games dressed up as pigs.

There are several fan sites that are built around this team nickname, as it has never really died out. Few can forget about the Hogettes — as hard as they may try — and the switch could pay homage to Washington’s most successful era of football.

Senators

The Redskins are based in the nation’s capital, DC, so if they need to change the team name, they could just keep things political.

Other DC-based sports franchises are the Nationals and Capitals, so something along those lines could work.

The Senators are available, while other politically charged team names include the Federals, the Colonials, the Diplomats, the Presidents, and the list can go on and on.

The Senators just sounds the best if we have to go this route.

Braves

This is one of my favorite options if the Redskins change their team name. It pays homage to where the franchise started, as the Redskins were originally known as the Boston Braves.

That lasted for one good year back in 1932, until the franchise changed to the Boston Redskins for four seasons. Since then, it’s been the Washington Redskins, and the organization has failed to ever look back.

With the times changing, Washington may want to reconsider.

Going back to being the Braves allows the franchise to keep those Native American ties, while ditching a mascot that is at least creating uncomfortable conversation.

‘Skins

How about ditching the “Red” portion of the name, and just rolling with ‘Skins? This has been floated before, and it actually makes a lot of sense.

Not only do fans of the Redskins constantly refer to their team as the ‘Skins already anyway, but the most racially insensitive aspect of the current name is the “red” part.

There still may be questioning as to what the ‘Skins name is referring to, but it would at least be a step in the right direction. Washington would then still maintain a lot of its franchise history and familiarity, which would arrive both sides of this debate at a compromise.

To be clear, this isn’t my favorite. I’ve seen it brought up in the past as some sort of middle ground for all parties involved.

Pigskins

If Snyder and co. really want to maintain the ‘Skins part of the name, they can just go all-in on that pig idea I floated earlier. Only, with this option, it’d refer to a pigskin, which happens to be another name for a football.

Dual meaning alert!

This could allow Washington’s new name to take on two different meanings, as it remembers its fondest years in the league and also references the football itself.

It’s not really different enough in my mind, but it’s better than the current name.

Wood Thrushes

This is mostly a joke, but hey, the Washington DC state bird is the wood thrush. It was designated as such in 1967, and since then, the world has never been the same.

It’s a tiny, cute bird that always looks like it’s complaining about the bigger birds. That’s subjective, and the name is objectively silly, but it’s still the state bird. That has to count for something.

Dragons

How creative, right? Okay, but here’s the thing, Dragons is an awesome name, and yet zero major US sports leagues (NFL, NBA, and MLB) have a mascot with this name.

Missed opportunity, I say! I mean, did the NFL, MLB, and NBA not watch Game of Thrones?

Dragons are massive, they breathe fire, and they wreak total havoc. They are extremely tough to defeat and are used as weapons in battle. Heck, sometimes they even have three heads.

All of this sounds awesome. I have no idea, for the life of me, why Washington can’t just be the Dragons and be done with it.

What Will the New Redskins Team Name Be?

In 2020? Probably just still the Redskins. Snyder has been reluctant to make a move here, and unless someone truly twists his arm, it’s possible he never will.

He isn’t directly being racist, as he purchased the franchise long after it was named. You could say he’s indirectly contributing to the insensitivity by not making the change, of course.

In Snyder’s defense, all of the franchise’s traditions, accomplishments, and money are tied to this name. That should never deter someone from doing the right thing, but there’s no doubt he has to be thinking of the fiscal aspect of things.

There’s also the reality that not everyone agrees the Redskins name is racist. It may take an overwhelming campaign (or the NFL’s influence) to get Snyder to listen.

Rebranding the Redskins wouldn’t be easy, and with the 2020 NFL season already coming in a matter of months, it isn’t a move that would be swift.

The expectation (or hope) would be for a new Washington name to arrive in 2021. Given the options here (although not closed off to further suggestions), a return to the tried and true Braves makes the most sense.

Another team (Atlanta) has this same moniker, and the Washington franchise would simply be returning to its original NFL roots. Snyder won’t love it, and it may be costly to turn the franchise’s back on a familiar name, but it very well may be the right thing to do.

Noah Davis

Noah Davis is one of the more diverse writers at GamblingSites.com. Like many of his colleagues, he's a huge fan of both football and basketball. But he also writes about box office records, TV show prop bets, DFS, and all kinds of other subjects.

When it comes to the NFL, Noah's favorite team is the Cleveland Browns. He enjoys cheering them on with his wife and daughter.

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  1. Sid Maycock August 1, 2020 at 6:17 pm

    The Big Red One
    Go Big Red
    Named after the 1st infantry division US Army
    The Big Red 1 has an awesome history

  2. Mike Lynn, Fort Collins, CO July 25, 2020 at 10:17 pm

    Considering it’s Washington, call the team the “Deficits”. If you are going to pick an animal maybe the “Washington Lambkins”.

  3. A.P.Roznicki July 23, 2020 at 11:56 am

    Sinse Washinton is the homie of our Presidents, lets call the team “The Presidents”.

  4. Lewis Hoff July 15, 2020 at 1:40 pm

    Let’s have the team as the Washington Jim Thorpes – the Jims or the Thorpes . The team could keep a feather on the helmet and honor the center piece human figure at the Hall of Fame in Canton.

  5. BRUCE HOPKINS July 14, 2020 at 7:54 am

    HOW ABOUT THE WASHINGTON PIONEERS.PAVING THE WAY FOR A NEW GENERATION IN SPORTS

  6. Roy July 13, 2020 at 4:58 pm

    Washington Swampers

  7. DC Fan (Dallas Cowboys, that is) July 12, 2020 at 7:41 am

    As a Cowboys fan, I think the Hogs is by far the best name. Need something that keeps the rivalry going. And ‘Hogs’ harkens back to the glory days, when Was was actually kicking booty.

    Plus, all the other names being bandied are just tired.

  8. M. Bennett July 10, 2020 at 12:18 pm

    Washington Patriots

  9. Elaine M Dolan July 8, 2020 at 9:45 pm

    Name Suggestion for Redskins The Washington Zees for No 1 fan Chief Zee a tribute to the Redskin name a well intended ” intention “

  10. Keith July 6, 2020 at 12:17 pm

    As a lifelong ‘Skins fan & native Washingtonian, I feel strongly that “Braves” is the best name option. That’s what the team was called at the outset in Boston back in the early 30s, and it refers to the attribute of courage that we so much admire in Native Americans With the name, “Braves,” it’s highly appropriate to keep the logo depicting a handsome Native American chief on the players’ helmets.

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