The Washington football team in the nation’s capital is ditching the Redskins’ team name this year due to pressure about its racist undertones. Now, the team is in search of a new nickname, one that will appease a very dedicated fanbase, the team’s officials, and the National Football League (NFL).
The team has sought fan input for the new nickname. It created a website, WashingtonJourney.com, where fans have been given the opportunity to submit their ideas.
Team President Randy Wright said in an interview with NBC Sports Washington that the team is seeking input from fans because the fanbase should have a voice in selecting the new team name.
Wright said that the fanbase has been very vocal in its support of one of those suggestions: the Washington Red Wolves. The concept of the uniform for the Red Wolves would actually incorporate an older design in which the helmet had a white circle with the large letter “R” inside. The team colors of burgundy, gold, and white would remain the same.
Another name that received a lot of initial support from the fanbase in July was the Washington Red-Tails to honor the Tuskegee Airmen of World War II fame. When the first all-Black squadrons took to the air against the Germans in North Africa and Italy, they painted the tails of their aircraft all red as a distinctive marking for their unit.
However, there is another proposal on deck to change the name of the football team to the Washington SEALs. Not the animal, but the Navy’s special operations forces. This concept was proposed by Derek Peabody a fan of both the football team and the Navy’s unit.
“The Washington D.C. [SEALs]. Washington D.C. is our Nation’s capital; the center of our government, our military, and our country. The Washington Football Team should honor and reflect the best of Washington D.C. Navy [SEALs] are our military’s most elite unit. They are tough, unyielding, and professional; the best of the best. All qualities that NFL teams try to mimic,” Peabody said.
“The Primary logo is inspired by the Navy Seal Special Warfare insignias anchor and trident. The president has a seal, every military branch has a seal, every government office and department [has] a seal.”
“The Washington Football Team should have an official seal. The Washington Football Team has a long history in the NFL and has been a pillar franchise for many years, therefore the look and feel of the team should remain,” Peabody continued. “The D.C. [SEALs] concept is a strong departure from the past while remaining faithful to the team’s legacy.”
The Navy’s distinctive SEAL badge is close to but different from the proposed logo by Peabody. Gone are the eagle and the flintlock pistol but the anchor remains centered with a trident and an arrow (which is common in Special Operations), crossing in the center. The anchor has a rope folded in the shape of an “S” in its center.
The logo on the side of the burgundy-colored football helmet would be inside a white circle with two parallel burgundy lines going across the top. Once again, the team’s colors would remain the same, the only changes would be the team’s name and logo.
How the Navy and Naval Special Warfare community would feel about the proposed nickname is uncertain given the recent allegations of sexual misconduct levied against the football team and several of its front office personnel.
SOFREP reached out to the Naval Special Warfare Headquarters in San Diego but received no comment on the suggestion. We will post any updates if they are forthcoming.
The Washington football team dropped its “Redskins” moniker earlier this summer after continued pressure from key sponsors and activists, who had long criticized the name as racist. The change followed decades of simmering frustration from many Native American activists, who had called the name insensitive.
If the Navy were to embrace Peabody’s proposal, which is very unlikely, how long would it be before a similar movement began in Kansas City?
Kansas City’s team’s nickname is the “Chiefs.” It could also come under scrutiny. The official story is that the nickname isn’t related to Native Americans but to a former Kansas City mayor who was nicknamed “Chief.” But that doesn’t really hold up to much scrutiny as fans in Kansas cheer on the team by banging on a large drum that resembles a sacred Native American drum. They wear chief headdresses and chant. The team’s tomahawk chop is among Native American activists’ “chief” concerns.
Then would the Army feel like it has to be involved? Kansas City Rangers?
Nope, we wouldn’t expect any of this to come to fruition — yet. And yes… that is sarcasm.