Washington Redskins Name Change: Which Alternatives Have Been Suggested?

The Washington Redskins are facing calls to change their name after one of its principal sponsors formally called for the team to drop its references to Native American.

The franchise's name has been a source of controversy since it was adopted in 1933 and on Thursday FedEx significantly dialled up the pressure when it formally requested the team to change its name.

The delivery giant holds the naming rights to the Redskins' home stadium, FedEx Field, through 2025 after investing $205 million to secure the rights in 1998, a year after the team had moved into their new home in Landover, Maryland.

FedEx's move came after Adweek reported three separate letters signed by 87 investment firms and shareholders worth a combined $620 billion directly asked FedEx, Nike and Pepsi to terminate their relationship with the franchise unless the Redskins agree to change their name.

Here are six potential alternatives for the Redskins.

Washington Warriors

Should the Redskins ever agree to change their name, Warriors is arguably the favorite among the replacement candidates. Franchise owner Dan Snyder trademarked the name Washington Warriors hoping to use it for an Arena Football League team, before the organization collapsed last year.

Switching from Redskins to Warriors would allow the franchise to keep its traditional color schemes and they could even return to their classic spear helmet logo.

Washington Senators

The Senators monicker this name may be associated with the NHL's Ottawa Senators, but it would make a lot of sense for the Redskins too. The political undertones are obvious and switching to Senators would also be a significant nod to the nation capital's sporting heritage, as the city boasted four MLB franchises called Washington Senators.

While the first two iterations were short-lived, the third version of the Senators spent almost six decades in the nation's capital before becoming the Minnesota Twins in 1961, while the fourth coming of the Washington Senators spent 10 years in D.C. before becoming the Texas Rangers in 1972.

Additionally, the Washington Senators played in the NFL in 1921 and operated as an independent club for the next two decades, before folding in 1941. Notably, however, the Senators played in white and blue a century ago and adopting the name could involve changing the Redskins' color scheme.

Washington Braves

This too would be a nod to history, as the Redskins were founded as Boston Braves in 1932, before changing their name to avoid confusion with the baseball franchise Boston Braves, who competed in the National League and have since relocated to Atlanta, Georgia.

Washington Redhawks

This particular path has been trodden before. In 1998, Miami University in Ohio changed its teams' nickname from Redskins to Redhawks and following into the college's footsteps would present obvious advantages for the NFL franchise.

The two names have a similar connotation, sound relatively similar and would allow the team to retain its color scheme.

Washington Federals

While it does sound rather mundane and it could pose a challenge in terms of finding a new logo, Federals would continue the political team in Washington, whose NHL and MLB franchises are called Washington Capitals and Washington Nationals respectively.

Washington Red Tails

The latest entry in the carousel for a potential new name, Red Tails has become vastly popular over the last couple of weeks after it was first proposed by a Reddit user.

"The Redtails were a unit of black fighter pilots in WWII back when the military was still segregated," the user wrote on Reddit.

"Redtails even works with the fight song, just change 'braves' to 'men.'"

Washington Redskins, NFL
A detail view of a Washington Redskins before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 8, 2019 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. Quinn Harris/Getty
Washington Redskins Name Change: Which Alternatives Have Been Suggested? | Sports