If Washington is forced to change the team name, here are some of the best options.

The effort to get Washington’s professional soccer team to change its name continues apace. On Thursday, federal officials informed the team’s owner, Dan Snyder, that he must change the name of the “Redskins” team if he wants to move to the RFK Stadium site. Later in the day, FedEx released a statement saying it had asked “the team in Washington” to change its name. According to an AdWeek report, FedEx was among a group of corporations (including Nike and PepsiCo) whose investors wrote to them asking them to end their relations with Washington unless the team changes its name. The letters to FedEx, Nike and PepsiCo were from 87 investment companies and shareholders with a collective value of $ 620 billion.

Snyder has previously stated that he would never change the team name, but he also recently moved around a bit by renaming the FedEx Field bottom bowl. The lower bowl is named after former team owner George Preston Marshall, whose statue was removed from the outside of RFK Stadium last month. Marshall was the one who changed the team name from “Braves” to “Redskins,” and they both resisted team integration and stated that they were proud that their franchise was the last to join.

With the political and financial pressure now applied to Snyder, he may finally break up and actually decide to change the name of the team. If that happens, there is no shortage of options available. People have been trying to find alternative names for some time now, so there are many possible solutions to this problem for him to choose from. In the space below, we’ll go over some of the most popular suggestions, as well as some that seem logical on the surface but probably can’t happen.


This is a no-go. Sure, it was the original name of the team; But if the team is forced to change its name due to possible racist overtones, then changing to another name that has possible racist overtones doesn’t seem like a good idea. (The same concept applies to just changing the team name to Skins.)


Naming the team after the famous offensive linemen who helped them win three Super Bowls in the 1980s and 1990s sounds like an interesting idea and there’s already an affinity built into the name of the fan base, but there’s also too much potential for … different interpretations if you name a team the pigs. I can’t say I would recommend this one. (Our own Michael Bohlin suggested the Warthogs, which was the name of the Washington futsal team, but if any variation of “Hogs” is going to win, it’s probably the regular style, rather than the Warthogs.)


The University of Miami, Ohio helpfully suggested it in 2014. While it would be a smooth transition for CBS Sports Programming Director Eric Kay, who is a Washington fan and a Miami, Ohio alumnus, it seems unlikely that the team chooses to become the second to make this exact name change. (ie “Redskins” to RedHawks)


This seems unlikely for a couple of reasons. First of all, the Senate has a disastrous approval rating, so I’m not sure anyone wants to support the senators. More importantly, the Washington Nationals still have the nickname “Washington Senators”, so it wouldn’t be possible even if Snyder wanted to pay tribute to the city’s original baseball team. (Unless you’ve bought the name from Randy Lerner. But that seems even more unlikely.)

Americans / Generals / Other military name

One of the other teams in Washington is called Capitals. Naming the team after the Senate (or House of Representatives) seems like a horrible idea. But it is based in our nation’s capital, so you know some people are going to suggest naming it either by the country itself, or by one branch or another of the armed services. Personally, I think teams should be much more creative than this. You can name a team of Americans or generals in any city in the country. The name must be specific to Washington in some way.

Bravehearts / Warriors / Renegades

Each of these names has the benefit of not changing the overall aesthetic of the team too much. They could probably keep the spear logo, which actually looks great on helmets, for example. (Just get rid of the pen, probably.) With Forsaken, the team could also keep the “R” logo in place. They wouldn’t have to change their colors and the fight song could easily be modified to replace a word, and either option would work. This is probably the simplest route the team could take without making any drastic changes.

Red tails

This is the name that won a design contest several years ago, and I honestly understand it. It’s a nod to the planes flown by the Tuskegee Airmen, a squad of all-black fighter pilots and fighters who fought in World War II and were the first black military aviators in the United States Armed Forces. Three of the first five admitted Airmen were from Washington, giving the Redtails name a specific connection to the city. The team could easily maintain the colors and the “R” logo, while moving from a name with potential negative connotations to one with extremely positive connotations that honor the city, the armed services, and African-Americans.