Washington Commanders: New era begins as Washington Football Team announces new name

After an 18-month-search the Washington Football Team has announced its new name: The Washington Commanders.

The name was revealed Wednesday at a press conference with co-CEOs and co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder and team President Jason Wright.

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The team's new helmets and uniforms retain the franchise's signature burgundy-and-gold colors. The jersey features three stars on the collar and stripes on the shoulders. A 'W' logo is also included in the team's new look.

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The Commanders name was chosen from a group of finalists that included the Admirals, Armada, Brigade, Sentinels, Defenders, Red Hogs and Presidents. The Wolves and the RedWolves were also popular choices among fans but were ruled out after trademarks were held by other organizations.

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Speculation that the name Commanders would be selected grew this week after former Washington quarterback Joe Theismann gave a radio interview during which he spoke as though the name had already been picked. More indications came a day before the name was officially announced when Washington Commanders signs were spotted at FedEx Field.


The organization dropped its old name in July 2020 after decades of complaints that it was racist toward Native Americans. Pressure from team sponsors also contributed to the change. The decision was made to be known as the Washington Football Team that season and the use continued through 2021 while the front office went through a lengthy rebranding process.

Washington became the first team in the four major North American professional sports leagues to move away from Native American imagery and Wright made it clear during the rebranding process that they would not use any Native American imagery moving forward.

Major League Baseball's team in Cleveland followed suit -- adopting the new name Guardians. MLB's Atlanta Braves and the National Hockey League's Chicago Blackhawks have defended keeping their names.


The once-storied franchise, which won three Super Bowl championships, has been anything but competitive on the field missing the playoffs again last season for the fifth time in six years. The 2021-22 season was plagued with injuries and COVID-19 related absences that contributed to the team's 7 – 10 record. Over the past 15 years the team has not won a single playoff game.

Off the field, the league fined the team $10 million after an investigation into workplace conduct and co-owner Dan Snyder squabbled with minority partners before buying out their shares. The front office also took criticism this season for botching late safety Sean Taylor's jersey retirement.

Following the announcement, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser released a statement that read in part, "The next chapter for the Washington Commanders should be a return to winning, right here in DC."