The Washington Football Team isn't announcing its new name and logo until early 2022, but it is already saying one nickname it won't take.
The team will not be named the Washington Warriors as it "too closely aligns with Native American themes," team president Jason Wright wrote in a "President's Brief" on the team's website.
"Warriors" became a favorite for fans of the NFL franchise that has gone by a generic "Washington Football Team" name since 2020 when it finally dropped its controversial nickname. It has undergone a process of finding a new nickname since then, initially announced it wouldn't choose any until after 2021 and asking fans for input.
Wright told the Washington Post's Nicki Jhabvala on Saturday that the name wouldn't be revealed until early 2022, though the club is keeping its burgundy and gold colors.
Washington will not go by 'Warriors'
Wright explained in his briefing the organization has run an "inclusive process" to find a new name and specifically has engaged with Native American leaders to learn of the feelings and psychological effects of its old nickname. He said after the conversations the organization came to the consensus the right next step was to move forward "with no ties to Native American imagery."
In the spirit of that engagement, I want to address a name that has emerged amongst our fanbase, "Warriors." One might look at this name as a natural, and even harmless transition considering that it does not necessarily or specifically carry a negative connotation.
But as we learned through our research and engagement with various groups, "context matters" and that makes it a "slippery slope." Feedback from across communities we engaged clearly revealed deep-seated discomfort around Warriors, with the clear acknowledgment that it too closely aligns with Native American themes.
Such an embrace of potentially Native-adjacent iconography and imagery would not represent a clear departure that many communities have so forcefully advocated for us to embrace, and that frankly, we set out to do when we started this process a year ago.
Wright noted that some might be disappointed, but the organization believes a "new identity should unite us" and bring together fans, rather than divide.
What will Washington's new football name be?
"Warriors" was on the list of 19 names sent out in a poll by Wright to season ticket holders in April. It was not an actual vote, Wright said then, but instead a way to gather information and interest. That list can now be considered 18:
Capital City Football Club
DC Football Club
The name options include nods to D.C., landmarks and government as well as names that appeal to old-school fans (Washington Wild Hogs), soccer aficionados (The Washington DC Football Club) and fans who still want "Red" in the nickname (Redwolves).
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