- The Washington Times - Monday, August 16, 2021

The Washington Football Team has narrowed down the options for its next name down to three choices, a source with knowledge of the situation confirmed Monday.

Washington released a video in which team president Jason Wright is seen going over names — that are bleeped out  — with coach Ron Rivera and general manager Martin Mayhew. In the video, Wright says: “So the three [names] that we’ll go through are” before the censors cover the options. 

A source with knowledge of the situation said that the team has indeed narrowed the list down to three. The team received more than 40,000 submissions from fans during the rebranding process.

Washington, of course, announced last summer that it would retire the moniker “Redskins” after 82 years following a renewed push for the team to change its name, which many deemed offensive. The team then said it would go by the temporary “Washington Football Team” in the mean time. 

In Monday’s video, under the team’s “Making The Brand” series, a number of fans are shown potential name options and logos while at FedEx Field. Among the names included are: the Red Wolves, Commanders, Presidents, Defenders, Brigade, Redhogs, Armada and the Washington Football Team.  The names do not necessarily reflect the final options, given there are more than three. 

Wright has said the team will unveil its new look in early 2022.

He told The Washington Times last month that the team was monitoring the reaction to the Cleveland Indians’ rebrand after the baseball team announced a change to the Cleveland Guardians. In the weeks since that interview, legal records show that the Indians and the Cleveland Guardians — a roller derby team in Ohio — have both filed for the “Cleveland Guardians” trademark. 

“It helps they got out in front of us because we can see some of the things that go down,” Wright said. “They’ve done, in my opinion, a really good job of ingesting things from their fans and quickly turning something around. And I know that for them, they really wanted to be on the other side of it and do the hard work of just engaging fans and building community. And that’s a great strategy.

“That’s a great strategy. And ours is just different than that.”

Wright has said the team will keep its burgundy and gold color scheme in the next name and logo. He has repeatedly said that the team’s next name will not contain any references to American Indian imagery, even ruling out the moniker “Warriors” last month. 

The Washington Post first reported that Washington narrowed down its options to three. 

Owner Dan Snyder is still involved in the team’s rebranding efforts, despite taking a temporary step back in day-to-day operations of the franchise. Snyder stepped aside upon the conclusion of a NFL investigation into the team’s workplace misconduct. More than 40 women said they were sexually harassed while working for the team, which was fined $10 million by the NFL. Snyder’s wife, Tanya, has since assumed a larger role, with the team naming her co-CEO.

Wright said in late July that the team has created logos and designs for each of the final candidates. He said the team had “substantially narrowed down” the pool of names, though declined to name how many.

“It’s like a family heirloom and stewarding the movement of family heirloom is a weighty thing,” he told the radio station WTOP. “It’s incredibly important we do the best we can to steward this right.”

• Matthew Paras can be reached at mparas@washingtontimes.com.

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