The Washington Football Team could be here to stay.
Team owner Daniel Snyder told the Wall Street Journal it is possible the team will keep its temporary name, which it initially said would be used for the 2020 season until a different name was selected.
“Sure, it’s possible!” Snyder wrote in an email to The Wall Street Journal.
“If the Washington Football Team name catches on and our fans embrace it then we would be happy to have it as our permanent name,” he wrote. “I think we have developed a very classy retro look and feel.”
He told the WSJ he doesn’t have a deadline for choosing a permanent name.
“Our timeline is to get this right,” Snyder wrote in the email to WSJ.
Name increasingly became ‘distraction,’ Snyder says
After mounting pressure that has been years in the making, Snyder announced in mid-July his franchise would change its name from “Redskins.” The name is racist and offensive to some in the American indigenous population.
Snyder told the Journal the name was a “source of pride” and the decision to change “was not an easy one.”
“However, over the past few years the name had increasingly become a distraction from our primary focus of football,” he wrote in the WSJ. “So, in the spirit of inclusivity, we made the decision to move forward. We want our future name and brand to stand for something that unifies people of all backgrounds and to continue to be a source of pride for the next 100 years or more.”
Advertisers threatened to pull their support if the name wasn’t changed, leaving Snyder little choice. The Washington leaders decided on a temporary name for the entire 2020 season while they planned a permanent name and full rebrand.
In a Yahoo Sports poll, the frontrunner for a new name was “Red Tails” as results were spread out through seven options.
Controversy swirls around Washington franchise
The name was but one issue of controversy surrounding Snyder and the team this offseason.
Around the same time as the name change, 15 women said the franchise had a culture of sexual and verbal harassment in a report by the Washington Post. Since that time, more women have added their voices and detailed widespread harassment while with the team.
Snyder hired a law firm to investigate the allegations. He also hired Julie Donaldson as the team’s senior vice president of media. She replaced a senior employee who was accused of sexual harassment.
Jason Wright, a former NFL player, also joined the Washington front office as a president in August. He is the first Black person in that role in the NFL.
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