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Washington announces ‘Commanders’ as official name for NFL franchise

NFL’s Washington franchise has donned the generic name of “Football Team” since the 2020 season. Now, they turn the page on a darker spot in history with a fresh start — and new team name.

A general view of an empty section of seats with a Washington Football Team logo before the game between the Washington Football Team and the Dallas Cowboys at FedExField on October 25, 2020 in Landover, Maryland. A limited number of friends and family were allowed to attend the game due to the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

Washington’s NFL franchise will look to close a chapter in their history books this year, as they officially announced their new name — the Washington Commanders. It’s been 18 months since the team took on their identity as the “Football Team” and they’ll look to permanently rebrand with their new name and logo.

The process of moving on from its previous name, the Redskins, was one that took far too long, but things finally came to a head in the summer approaching the 2020 NFL season. At the time, the team looked to move on from branding, wording and imagery honoring Washington’s first owner (and huge racist) George Preston Marshall. The public continued to implore (as they had long done) that the team retire the “Redskins” name and logo to help put an end to the commonplace usage of a word also used as a racial slur.

In their process of rebranding, they did hit some hiccups along the way. While they searched for a suitable team name, it was discovered that one gentleman had trademarked most of the potential names they thought to use. As a temporary solution, they landed on the “Football Team” and will now come full circle with a permanent identity as the Commanders.

DraftKings Sportsbook provided odds on what the next name for Washington’s franchise might be (for entertainment purposes only), and Commanders was the odds favorite at +140, followed closely by “Admirals” at +160. Odds to keep Washington Football Team as the official franchise name were at +400.