Potential New Names for the Washington Redskins

Brad Gagnon@Brad_Gagnon NFL National ColumnistJune 18, 2014


News broke Wednesday that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the Washington Redskins trademark registration, ruling that the name is "disparaging to Native Americans."

Appeals will undoubtedly be filed, but as we noted back in March, this could eventually be a death knell for the most blatantly racist nickname in professional sports.

And as momentum builds for a new name, ideas are being tossed around. Naturally, many of them are comical (see: Twitter hashtag "newredskinsname"), but some are legit. 

For example...

Senators: The political connection is obvious, but there's a deep history there, too. This would work as a nod to the former D.C.-based MLB teams that now play in Minnesota and Texas, and it was also the name of the Washington NFL team in 1921.

Federals: Capitals, Nationals and Federals. Makes sense, I guess.

Braves: Wouldn't this be a significantly more respectful and significantly less controversial way to honor Native Americans? Plus, this was the franchise's original name back in Boston. They only became the Redskins to avoid confusion with that city's baseball team. 

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Warriors: Same deal here regarding the respect factor. And in both cases, they can maintain a similar logo to the one they currently have. According to the Washington City Paper (h/t Slate), owner Dan Snyder trademarked "Washington Warriors" well over a decade ago. 

Redhawks: Miami University made this exact change nearly two decades ago. It sounds similar, has a similar connotation and has the same number of syllables, which could help the team maintain its fight song.

Skins: It's possible simply removing the "Red" part of the name won't satisfy those who oppose it, but it would be an easy fix considering that most of us already refer to the team this way.

From Sports Illustrated's Don Banks:

The subtraction of three letters—RED—simultaneously addresses the two most important issues being argued over in this debate: It removes from Washington's nickname the offensive part of the word that describes a Native American’s skin color. And yet it maintains part of the name that the team has been known as since the franchise moved from Boston in the late 1930s.

A Redskins fan has already called their team the 'Skins for probably as long as they've been fans. It's not a drastic, wholesale change to another name, and it leaves Washington with some ability to give a nod to its team history and identity, the same way the NFL allowed the Cleveland Browns to retain their name, heritage and colors when the city's original franchise relocated to Baltimore in 1996.

Renegades: Honestly, it's just a cool name and one that's been batted around a fair bit. But it is more of a departure than everything else above. 

Pigskins: This makes sense in so many ways. You keep "Skins," you incorporate a popular team tradition and the name itself references football.  

Or I suppose they could just become the football team formerly known as the Redskins, adopting an unpronounceable symbol instead. 

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