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FireNews : Washington reveal Commanders rebrand #FireNews365

Co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder unveiled the new branding and kit at FedEx Field

The Washington American football team have announced they will now be known as the Commanders.

The NFL franchise retired its former name, the Redskins, in July 2020.

The team’s name and logo, introduced in in 1933, had long been criticised as racist by its sponsors and fans.

The Washington DC-based team had faced years of pressure over the name – seen as offensive to Native Americans – which was dropped upon completion of a review demanded by its major sponsors.

Owner Dan Snyder, a boyhood fan of the team which moved from Boston to DC in 1937, had vowed never to change its moniker.

However major sponsors including FedEx, Nike, Pepsi and Bank of America all called on Snyder to reconsider amid threats to pull funding from the team.

The franchise, which has won three Super Bowl titles, had been known as Washington Football Team for the past two seasons before revealing the Commanders name.

“As an organisation, 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,” said Snyder.

The franchise was founded by businessman George Preston Marshall, who believed in racial segregation.

They were the last team to allow black players on to the team, and only did so after the US government threatened to revoke the lease on their stadium in 1962.

The NFL team are not the first Washington DC sports franchise to change their name amid shifting cultural attitudes.

In 1997, basketball’s Washington Bullets were renamed the Wizards after the NBA team owner said he had become uncomfortable with the name’s violent overtones.

There are still three US sports franchises with names associated with Native American themes – the NFL’s Kansas City Chiefs, Major League Baseball’s Atlanta Braves and the Chicago Blackhawks in the National Hockey League.

MLB’s Cleveland franchise changed their name from the Indians to the Guardians following the end of the 2021 season.

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