This has been a long process, but it’s finally over, and Washington has officially announced that the team will be called the Commanders. On July 3, 2020 the team announced they would be undergoing a thorough review of the Redskins name. On July 23, 2020 they announced they would be known as the Washington Football Team until the team chose a permanent name. They have been the WFT until today.
Washington’s name change was inevitable despite owner Dan Snyder’s declaration that the name would never change. This has been an ugly process that has caused division in the fan base, and left people feeling like they lost a part of their childhood, their family history, and their community. No matter how you personally felt about the old name, it was a huge part of the history of the NFL and the Washington area. Changes like that do not come easy, and won’t be accepted by many.
Dan Snyder’s decision to change the name afforded him the opportunity to connect with the fan base, and that was the stated plan. Fans were asked for name submissions. Fan Ambassadors were created in an attempt to figure out how the team could win back a fanbase that was tired of losing, and tired of being used and ignored. The process led to a swell of support for names like Warriors and Redwolves. These names were shot down by Team President Jason Wright for different reasons. This opportunity seems to have been another wasted chance for Washington’s least favorite owner.
For the last few months there have been consistent rumors that the new name was going to be Commanders. The team wanted a military connection and they got it with this name. It’s not a name the fans were calling for, but it’s what they are getting. To some fans this is the final straw that will allow them to cut ties to the organization that they don’t recognize anymore. To other fans this is just the next step in the team’s history and they just want to win, or they want to see the new uniforms, or they just don’t care about the name of the team.
There is a place for all of that here, and people shouldn’t attack anyone for their reaction to this change. I don’t like the name choice, but I am still a fan of the team, and I’ll continue to follow and discuss them with everyone here.