The name of Washington’s professional football team has apparently become so toxic that even a league that fields teams of women in underwear and helmets wants no part of it.
When the lingerie football league expands into the District next year, the local franchise will not use the monkier “Redskinettes” as previously planned. The team has announced that it instead chose “Washington Warriorettes.”
“As an avid thirty-five year Washington Redskins fan, I understand that we as fans place the name Redskins in high-regard,” said Mitchell Mortaza, chairman of the new D.C. team. “However, when the name offends as many American Indians as it has, I believe it is the responsibility of ownership to act.”
Lingerie football is fairly self-explanatory, featuring teams of women who play tackle football while dressed in bikini-type outfits, helmets and pads. The league, which began in 2009 and currently has 10 teams, changed its name last year from the Lingerie Football League to the Legends Football League. It has been criticized as sexist, with feminist writer Courtney Martin once describing it as “objectification at its most pernicious.”
The Redskins, meanwhile, have come under heightened pressure this year from American Indian activists and the public to abandon the team name. In May, half the U.S. Senate urged the National Football League to change the Washington Redskins‘ name, saying it was a racist slur.