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ASHBURN, VA - JUNE 16: Carson Wentz #11 of the Washington Commanders attempts a pass during the organized team activity at INOVA Sports Performance Center on June 16, 2022 in Ashburn, Virginia. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)
The Washington Commanders' New Name Explained
History - Science
On February 2, 2022, the Washington Football Team revealed that their new identity would be the Washington Commanders, which pays tribute to their mission-driven players who have “taken command” on the field. This came after a nearly two-year process to select a new name and ended decades of controversy surrounding their old moniker.
Originally starting out as the Boston Braves in 1932, the team adopted the controversial “Redskins” moniker in 1933. The franchise first acquired the trademark for the "Redskins" name in 1967, and starting in the 1990s, that trademark would be the focal point in a series of court battles between the team and Native American activists.
The team announced the retirement of the longtime name in 2020; In the interim, they played the 2020 and 2021 seasons under the Washington Football Team name. Crystal Echo Hawk, executive director of non-profit advocacy group IllumiNative, called their recent Commanders change “momentous,” but added that the team’s work in reconciliation is far from over.