WASHINGTON (7News) — A bit anti-climactic, but a momentous occasion nonetheless. Washington’s football team has a new name.
Revealed on the TODAY Show to a national audience, representatives of the team revealed the franchise has selected “Commanders” as its new brand.
“As an organization, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation’s capital,” owner Dan Snyder said in a release. “As we kick off our 90th season, it is important for our organization and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy and the greats that came before us. We continue to honor and represent the Burgundy and Gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington.”
The team said it received nearly 40,000 fan submissions for the new team name and in September 2021 narrowed down its choice to eight names: Armada, Presidents, Brigade, Redhawks, Commanders, RedWolves, Defenders and Football Team.
In 2020, the football team changed its name to the ‘Washington Football Team’ after facing increasing pressure to change its previous name, the Redskins, because of its racist connotations.
The Washington Redskins were founded in 1932 as the Boston Braves. The name was changed to the Redskins by co-owner George Preston Marshall in 1933 and the team relocated to Washington, D.C. in 1937.
On Tuesday evening, SkyTrak7 flew over FedexField and caught a glimpse of what could be. A banner displaying “Washington Commanders” was spotted inside the stadium’s team store, adding fuel to the rumors that “Commanders” will become the team’s new nickname.
Former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann said on CBS Sports Radio that fans will grow to embrace “Commanders,” but later commented that he didn’t know the name and would find out on Wednesday with everyone else.
Getting a stadium deal done is next on the agenda for the Snyders and their front office. The team’s lease at FedEx Field expires after the 2027 season and momentum is building for an agreement in Virginia, though sites in Maryland and the District of Columbia are still under consideration.
Although the team hasn’t played at RFK Stadium since 1996, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser has been an advocate for the return of home games to the nation’s capital.
The mayor reiterated her support for a move immediately following the Commanders name reveal.
“Washington’s football franchise has had a storied history, and we are excited that today they will begin a new, necessary chapter as the Washington Commanders,” she said. “The next chapter for the Washington Commanders should be a return to winning, right here in DC.”
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