The Washington Football Team of the National Football
League (NFL) on Wednesday revealed their new name. The team will now be called Washington Commanders. The Football Team renamed the franchise following a lengthy review.
But the new name has not gone down well. It has been widely seen as a racial
slur against Native Americans.

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The Washington club dropped their longstanding previous
name Redskins in mid-2020 following a years-long campaign from critics.

The new name, Commanders, was chosen after an 18-month
rebrand process that, the team said, was decided after receiving 40,000
submissions from fans.

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“As an organization, we are excited to rally and
rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local
roots and what it means to represent the nation’s capital,” Team co-owner
Dan Snyder said in a news release.

The pressure was mounting up on the team to change the
name amid a nationwide reckoning on racism and police brutality triggered by
the 2020 death of George Floyd, a Black man who died after a white police
officer knelt on his neck.

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The club had softened its stance after FedEx Corp,
which owns the naming rights to the team’s suburban stadium in Landover,
Maryland, urged the club to rebrand. PepsiCo and Nike both followed FedEx’s
lead and said they welcomed the call for a review of the team’s name.

The Washington Football Team won three Super Bowls and
are one of the NFL’s marquee franchises, ranked by Forbes last August as the
league’s fifth-most valuable franchise at $4.2 billion.

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Many American professionals and collegiate sports
teams have nicknames on Native American themes. Major League Baseball’s Atlanta
Braves and the National Hockey League’s Chicago Blackhawks have both defended
keeping their names.

MLB’s Cleveland franchise said last July they would
change their name to the Guardians from Indians after the 2021 season, a move
that drew praise from Native American groups who had long viewed the old name
as disparaging.