Who Are The Hogs, The Group Threatening The Commanders Over Their New Mascot?

The NFL's Washington Commanders, formerly the Washington Redskins, may face legal action over their new mascot, the "Hogs," set to be unveiled late in the 2022 football season, according to ProFootballTalk from NBC Sports. The "Hogs" mascot references a successful era in Redskins' team history dating to the 1980s and '90s when the Washington team won three Super Bowl victories. According to those former players threatening to fight the Commanders' new "Hogs" mascot through legal means, the Commanders are now a different organization and as a result, the team and its controversial owner, Dan Snyder, have lost the right to use the HOGS name.

The Washington pro-football team changed their name to the Commanders in the 2022 season after years of controversy stemming from the perceived racial connotation of the word Redskins, based on NPR News reporting. According to a statement released by O-Line Entertainment, LLC composed of several former Redskins players who have pushed back on the choice (via ProFootballTalk) " ... [T]he original HOGS do not want to be associated with the Commanders under its current ownership and management and require that their legacy and brand is protected."

The '80s and '90s-era Washington offensive line were nicknamed the HOGS

As ProFootballTalk goes on to write, the former Redskins players exploring possible legal means to block the Commanders' new "Hogs” mascot are Joe Jacoby, Mark May, John Riggins, Fred Dean, and Doc Walker, who  all played on the Redskins' offensive line in the `80s and `90s, the same period the team won three Super Bowl Titles, according to Sports Illustrated (SI). Men and women wearing hog noses and dressed in women's clothing known as the "hogettes" are also part of Redskins tradition. In 2013, the "hogettes" fan practice was discontinued, according to New York Daily news.

According to O-Line Entertainment, LLC's statement (via CBS Sports) "Dan Snyder and the Washington Commanders are trying to profit off the original HOGS legacy by taking that trademark and associated goodwill and brand equity of the original HOGS." The Commanders were set to unveil the Hogs mascot in a week 17 matchup against the Cleveland Browns, as CBS Sports explains. Former Redskins coach Joe Gibbs (pictured) and the return of the "Hogettes” were also planned for the ceremony. Gibbs helped lead Washington to the three Super Bowl Titles in the `80s and `90s and remains Washington's winningest football coach (per Britannica).

The O.G. HOGS have applied for a trademark

Also according to O-Line Entertainment, LLC, the organization made up of former players tried to amicably settle the issue with the Commanders front office in advance of the week 17 event but the parties were unable to reach an agreement, according to SI.com reporting. The group expects the trademark to be issued in 2023, as ProFootballTalk explains. In response, the Commanders released their own statement, which called the HOGS among the greatest offensive lines to ever play the game of football.

According to the Commanders team statement (via SI.com) "The HOGS are a key part of our franchise's history and we want to keep their legacy alive with the next generation of fans." O-Line Entertainment claims Snyder and Commanders management have profited off the HOGS legacy without compensating the players. Washington entered the January, 1 game against Cleveland having overachieved in the 2022 season, as The Washington Post explains. At that point, the team needed to win out their remaining games in order to make the playoffs, according to CBS Sports reporting.