(Daily360.com) – Could the Washington Redskins possibly be returning to the gridiron? The answer to that question would be ‘yes’ if the Native American Guardians Association (NAGA) has their way.
The nonprofit group located in North Dakota stared a petition recently which has now surpassed 100,000 signatures to return the franchise to its long established name. The team, which is now called the Washington Commanders, played as the Redskins for almost 90 years before abandoning the moniker in 2020 after intense media pressure. They would be known as the generic Washington Football Team or WFT for about two years before formally adopting the Commanders nickname.
Although the team has been losing in recent years the name Commanders has not really resonated with the fan-base. That, combined with new ownership, has led people to believe a ‘re-rebranding’ back to the old branding might be in the offing. The former owner Dan Snyder was widely disliked by the team’s fan-base and many associated the Commanders name with his tenure and would be pleased to see it go. Snyder bought the team in 1999 for $800 million and sold it this past year to Josh Harris for a franchise sale record of $6.05 billion.
NAGA has its work cut out for it trying to overcome the current culture of canceling anything that goes against certain narratives and the name Redskins is certainly one of those things. NAGA said they see the name as “honoring” the native people and is linked to their “bravery, resilience and warrior spirit.”
Minority owner Magic Johnson said all things are on the table relating to a possible name change. Marketing professionals say the whole Washington team nickname situation is a “quagmire” in that no matter what is chosen certain groups will not like it. Marketing professor Joanna Schwartz offered her opinion that even if a million people sign NAGA’s petition that doesn’t mean several million more would not be ‘offended’ buy the return of the nickname. Schwartz advises the Commanders re-brand but not as the Redskins, apologize and “give money everywhere and support causes.”
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