ASHBURN, Va. (WDVM) – The Washington Football Team will not consider a new name, and logo for the team, that is linked to “Native American imagery”; as told by Team President Jason Wright’s briefing this morning.
The team intends to “run an inclusive process to listen to all voices” moving forward with the process, as Wright says they’ve given emphasis to engaging, listening, and learning from Native American leaders in this country.
“I am personally and deeply grateful for the Native American community leaders who engaged with us, sharing painful, raw and real stories that persist to this day.” said Jason Wright, in his statement. “Their stories affirmed our decision to move in a new direction in the creation of our new name and identity, and we are proudly forging ahead in this journey with a promise to our community — a promise to continue to be inclusive in our process and collaborative with our fans.”
Wright would follow up with this personal note, addressing the “Warriors” nickname, an identity that has come up amongst fans. The franchise had sent a survey to season-ticket holders on their thoughts on possible nicknames earlier this year, and Warriors reportedly was one of options listed.
“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.” said Wright, “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.”
The franchise adopted the new “Washington Football Team” moniker last summer, and will continue to use the name for the upcoming 2021 season.
“We have 89 years of history in this league and failing to acknowledge our past use of Native imagery in the consideration of the new name wouldn’t be mindful of the individuals and communities that were hurt by the previous name.” Jason wrote, “We’ve made significant changes in our organization and our culture, and our new name must reflect these changes. To that end, we will choose an identity that unequivocally departs from any use of or approximate linkage to Native American imagery.”