After 87 years, the team will no longer be called the “Reskins.”
In 2013, team owner Dan Snyder said that the team would “NEVER” change its name. Never say never, Dan.
After FedEx requested that the team change its name, a review process of the name and logo began. FedEx paid $205 million for naming rights to the Washington NFL franchise’s stadium through 2025. FedEx isn’t alone in wanting a name change–other sponsors like Nike and Pepsi are being pressured to sever ties with the franchise unless the team changes its name.
On July 3, the team announced that it would be undergoing a “thorough review” of the name.
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) July 3, 2020
On Monday, the Washington team announced that the Redskins name and logo will be retired “upon completion of this review.”
— Washington Redskins (@Redskins) July 13, 2020
There is no indication of what the new name would be with several bandied about. Among the options, Generals, Presidents, Lincolns, Veterans, and the favorite, Red Tails.
The name would honor the Tuskegee Airmen, the first black military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces. The name was suggested by a Reddit user a few weeks ago, and it became a 3/1 favorite on BetOnline.
During World War II, parts of the American military remained racially segregated as black Americans in a number of U.S. states were still subject to the Jim Crow laws—which were enacted in the late 19th and early 20th centuries and were enforced until 1965 and effectively mandated racial segregation in public facilities.
The Red Tails formed the 332nd Fighter Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the U.S. Air Force and owe their nickname to the color that pilots of the 332nd Fighter Group painted on the tails of their Republic P-47 Thunderbolt fighter aircraft.
The instantly recognizable markings included red bands on the noses of P-51 Mustang fighters, which also featured a red rudder, while P-51B and D Mustangs sported red propeller spinners, yellow wing bands and red tails.
Red Tails served as the title to Anthony Hemingway’s 2012 movie featuring Terrence Howard and Cuba Gooding Jr., which told the story of the Tuskegee Airmen.
Newsweek notes that the benefit of the Red Tail name would be threefold–it would trade a name that has been racially controversial since the beginning to one that celebrates black American servicemen that haven’t been given their due. It would also be a nod to those who serve in the military, and it would allow the team to keep its red/gold colors.
There could be some problems with licensing, however.
But, as it stands, the Redskins name is out and the franchise will be rebranded.