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Washington NFL team reveals name change after decades of racist branding

Washington Football Team player wearing uniform redesigned to reflect the NFL franchise’s new, albeit temporary, name. (Photo courtesy of Washington Football Team via washingtonfootball.com)

The NFL team located in Washington, D.C., will no longer be known as the Redskins. On Thursday, July 23, 2020, the franchise announced that it would change its name due to its racist image and messaging, according to ESPN.

In existence since 1932, the team was initially known as the Boston Braves. But since the city’s Major League Baseball team was the Boston Red Sox, the football team’s owner, George Marshall, changed the team’s name to the Redskins to avoid confusion.

The franchise would eventually move to Washington, D.C., and the team’s most recent logo was proposed in 1972 by a Native American, Walter Weltz. However, Native American groups spoke out against the logo and franchise name and protested for decades.

The team’s current owner, Dan Snyder, said the name change would never occur. But following the death of George Floyd and Black Lives Matter protests, FedEx announced that it would pull funding from the team if the name was not changed.

As a result, the organization will now be known as the Washington Football Team for the 2020 season with possible changes in 2021.

“Washington will not have any change to its color scheme. It will still use burgundy and gold. The Redskins logo on the helmet will be replaced by the player’s number in gold. The Washington Football Team will debut its home uniforms in week 1 against the Eagles,” the team said in a released statement.

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