New Washington Football Team Name? Don’t Bet On ‘Washington Warriors’

Posted on July 12, 2021

When it comes to Washington Football Team‘s new name, don’t bet on it being the “Washington Warriors.”

In fact, don’t expect it to feature Native American imagery of any sort.

WFT Team President Jason Wright recently provided an update on the NFL franchise’s journey for a new name and logo.

We still don’t have those monikers, but Wright did nix some possibilities. And one that was gaining traction with some fans – the Washington Warriors – is among the eliminated options.

Washington Warriors a no-go

Formerly known as the Washington Redskins, the WFT retired the name in 2020. Some of it was due to the years of pushback. However, sponsors such as FedEx and Nike amplified the complaints, and team officials finally acted.

Ultimately, though, Washington opted for a temporary name – the Washington Football Team – before they’ll decide on a permanent mascot.

Removing a name that many say is a racial slur for Native Americans was “quite simply, it is the right thing to do,” Wright wrote in his latest letter.

Earlier this year, the WFT reached out to season-ticket holders to solicit input for a new name. The suggestions have been varied and plentiful, with “Red Hawks” and “Red Tails” among the popular “Red-” based options. But some fans have also suggested the Warriors, and the name has garnered some support.

Wright, though, said “Washington Warriors” is not an option:

“One might look at this name as a natural, and even harmless transition considering that it does not necessarily or specifically carry a negative connotation. But as we learned through our research and engagement with various groups, ‘context matters’ and that makes it a ‘slippery slope.’ Feedback from across communities we engaged clearly revealed deep-seated discomfort around Warriors, with the clear acknowledgment that it too closely aligns with Native American themes. Such an embrace of potentially Native-adjacent iconography and imagery would not represent a clear departure that many communities have so forcefully advocated for us to embrace, and that frankly, we set out to do when we started this process a year ago.”

No Native American imagery

Some WFT backers have complained that the removal of the old name somehow tarnishes past memories. Wright said the company has made “significant changes in our organization and our culture.” One of the changes is complete distancing from Native American imagery.

However, the name change doesn’t change history.

As he wrote:

“Let me also be clear: moving on from the old moniker does not invalidate the poignant memories so many of you had with loved ones watching your football heroes in burgundy and gold. Those are moments to cherish, and we need your help to ensure we preserve those memories under a new banner that should bring even more fans into the Washington family.”

Wright said the company now has a “shortlist of final names.” He told The Washington Post the team plans to reveal the new name and logo in early 2022.

Literally betting on Washington team name?

So, do you have a hunch what the new Washington team name will be? Feel confident about your prediction?

You might be tempted to try to bet on your premonition. After all, you’ve probably seen media outlets covering betting odds for all sorts of exotic sports wagers that don’t even involve game action.

However, legal sportsbooks in Virginia and elsewhere in the US can’t offer many of these prop bets. You may find them available from illegal offshore bookies where, for example, you can wager on an MMA fighter’s next opponent or which celebrities will be shown cageside at his fight.

In fact, some legal US sportsbooks may even offer pick’em games or pool contests with these types of props. But – barring a lot of regulatory red tape – legal US sportsbooks almost always can’t take wagers on markets that aren’t tied directly to game results. After all, they’re ripe for insider information or manipulation.

For the time being, Washington football fans will have to wager on the action on the field, not in the front office.

Photo by AP / Susan Walsh
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Dann Stupp

Dann Stupp is a longtime sports journalist who’s written and edited for The Athletic, USA Today, ESPN, MLB.com and other outlets. He lives in Lexington, Virginia.

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