In the year since Washington Football Team name change, Native American sports imagery evolving

Washington will not have any sort of Native American imagery as portion of its following identify, and the issue is nevertheless evolving across sports in the 12 months because the storied NFL franchise dropped arguably the most polarizing moniker still left in the execs.

Tuesday marks the just one-12 months anniversary because Washington dropped the identify Redskins and the accompanying Indian head logo immediately after 87 years amid stress from sponsors and a long time of criticism that both equally are offensive to Native People. The Washington Football Group will be close to for just one a lot more time, with a new identify set to be revealed in early 2022.

With Main League Baseball’s Cleveland Indians set to adopt a new identify at some position and the Atlanta Braves, the NFL’s Kansas Town Chiefs, the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks and the NCAA’s Florida Condition Seminoles holding on to theirs for now, Washington’s process is the furthest together and bears watching as the possibilities get narrowed down.

“The Washington Football Team’s announcement that they will not be employing Native American imagery is a significant step toward reconciliation, justice and equality, but there’s nevertheless a lot more work to be accomplished,” mentioned Crystal Echo Hawk, founder and government director of Native American-led nonprofit IllumiNative. “This is a step in the correct course, we question that the NFL, MLB and NHL urge the Kansas Town Chiefs, Atlanta Braves and Chicago Blackhawks to abide by Washington Football Group president Jason Wright’s lead in order to stand on the correct facet of record.”

Wright, who was named Washington’s staff president in August, ruled out Warriors in a prolonged submit on the team’s web site Monday, saying feedback from Native American communities confirmed “deep-seated discomfort” about that identify.

“Failing to accept our earlier use of Native imagery in the thing to consider of the new identify wouldn’t be conscious of the folks and communities that were harm by the prior identify,” Wright mentioned. “We will select an id that unequivocally departs from any use of or approximate linkage to Native American imagery.”

Wright mentioned Washington is “down to a limited list” of names. Soon after various months of chatter about “R” selections such as Redwolves, Redtails/Purple Tails or Redhawks, it is attainable “Red” is taken out of the equation totally.

That would length Washington from the outdated identify a lot more than variations at the college or university stage in the 1990s: St. John’s likely from Redmen to Purple Storm and Miami of Ohio dropping Redskins to turn into the RedHawks.

Wright mentioned staff officials are “confident that our new brand id will honor our legacy and lead us into our upcoming as a franchise.”

As the most current reckoning more than racial injustice, iconography and racism carries on in the U.S., Washington is significantly from the only franchise taking into consideration a change, although other individuals protect the standing quo.


Protests have followed the Chiefs on two Super Bowl outings, and very last fall they barred headdresses and war paint for enthusiasts at Arrowhead Stadium. They’re nevertheless experiencing calls to abandon a tradition of enthusiasts breaking into a “war chant” although generating a chopping hand motion designed to mimic the Native American tomahawk — which is not distinctive to Kansas Town.

A coalition of Native American teams set up billboards in the Kansas Town space to protest the tomahawk chop and Chiefs’ identify.

North of the border, Edmonton of the Canadian Football League reversed program very last summer time by dropping the identify Eskimos in the aftermath of Washington’s selection, briefly turning out to be the EE Football Group. On June 1, Elks was introduced as Edmonton’s new identify.


Cleveland and Atlanta look to be at opposite ends of the spectrum.

Cleveland introduced in December it was dropping Indians and, like Washington, is vetting a ultimate checklist of possibilities. Whilst Cleveland has not specified a organization timetable on a new identify, proprietor Paul Dolan informed The Connected Press in December it will not have any affiliation with anything Native American.

The Braves have resisted calls for a identify change. The staff has not waivered from a organization assertion in a letter to time-ticket holders in 2020 that mentioned: “We will often be the Atlanta Braves.”

Even the “tomahawk chop” has returned together with enthusiasts this time immediately after a Cardinals pitcher mentioned in the course of the 2019 playoffs that it was disrespectful, and the staff stopped encouraging the chant. The death of Corridor of Famer Hank Aaron in January led some enthusiasts to propose a swap to Atlanta Hammers to honor ”Hammerin’ Hank.”


The Chicago Blackhawks have proven no indicators of taking into consideration a identify change any time before long, with the club contending it honors Black Hawk, a Native American leader from Illinois’ Sac & Fox Nation. CEO Danny Wirtz mentioned in December that the Blackhawks “continue to deepen our dedication to upholding our namesake and our brand.”

Like the Chiefs, the Blackhawks banned headdresses at home games as portion of their pledge to honor the Native American community, with which the staff has experimented with to bolster ties more than the earlier 12 months.