I won’t lie: I’m not a fan of football. I root for the Ravens and the Redskins because of geography. But, man, I really do not like the name Redskins. And then last night, I stumbled across a pretty great proposal for re-naming the team (best of all, you’d get to keep the logo). There’s an edited excerpt below, but you can — and should! — read the full proposal on David J. Peterson’s tumblr:
If you’re not a fan of football (or sports), you should be aware, at least, that there is a team—here in the year 2012—that goes by the name Redskins. And there’s no ambiguity about the reference (e.g. like how the Cincinnati Reds’ name originally referred to their red stockings and not to Communism): it’s Redskin as in, well, redskin: a racist term making reference to the perceived skin color of most (if not all) Native Americans. I suppose the reverse would be something like the Washington Palefaces, with a logo featuring a white guy’s face.
If you’re like me, at first, you’ll go, “Eh”. But think about … the current logo for the Washington Redskins[.] And what is that? It’s a fairly realistic depiction of a Native American warrior—and, in fact, as far as Native American sports logos go, I think it’s pretty respectful (notice how the figure’s skin is not, in fact, Redskins red: it’s an attempt to be more or less authentic)—certainly a far sight better than [the Cleveland Indians’ Chief Wahoo logo]. As a result, you could change the name “Redskins” to “Warriors” and retain everything else about the Washington Redskins’ identity. The only change would be to the wordmark, and if you’ll notice, all the letters you need to spell “warriors” are contained inside the words “Washington Redskins”
And while the name wouldn’t be unique (the Golden State Warriors have had it since they began playing in Philadelphia [and, incidentally, they were also named after Native American warriors]), I like it for Washington for two reasons. First, it alliterates. “Washington Warriors” rolls off the tongue so much better than “Golden State Warriors” (frankly, that team is in need of a rebrand [yes, another one]). Second, NFL teams, for the most part, favor simpler names. The NBA has the Memphis Grizzlies. The NFL? The Chicago Bears. They have the Lions, the Giants, the Eagles, the Cowboys—iconic, simple, tough. Classic. It’s entirely subjective, but to me, Washington Warriors has a classic feel.
In my opinion, a switch to the name “Warriors” would be a simple, minimally-invasive rebrand, and I think it’s long overdue. The main argument against a rebrand would be tradition, which is nothing to be scoffed at. I think by making such a minimal change which still obviously makes reference to the same entity, the tradition is honored and maintained (more so than, e.g., making a change from Bullets to Wizards).
Seems like a rational proposal to me.