Drum roll, please … the US National Football League’s Redskins have formally unveiled their new name. And it’s a doozy.
For at least the 2020 season, the team will be known as the Washington Football Team.
The surprisingly bland name will last until management can choose a proper new title for the team-formerly-known-as-the-Redskins, according to ESPN’s Adam Schefter. But the lack of imagination has sparked some bemusement, including from US sports legends.
“Is that real? No way. Oh man, they had a thorough, intense, long board meeting about that one, huh?” basketball star LeBron James tweeted in the hours after the decision was announced.
The decision to drop the old name came after years of pressure from sponsors – and amid criticism that the term ‘redskins’ and accompanying logo of an Indian chief’s head, is racist to Native American people.
The franchise will keep its signature colours of burgundy and gold but will retire the logo immediately.
Other social media users also responded to what they considered was a lack of creativity from the Washington Football Team.
But there is more to come from the Washington team. It has hired a new executive vice-president and chief marketing officer, Terry Bateman, to oversee the process of retiring the old branding.
Mr Bateman told the ABC that the process will take time, and the temporary 2020 design will act as “a nice link between the history and the future”.
“We wanted to think it through and really try to figure out what is the best approach for us, for the community, for the fans, for everybody, and came to the conclusion that what we wanted to do was to go slow with the renaming process and really be very thoughtful, very inclusive, respectful and all those things.” Mr Bateman said.
The Washington Football Team will also seek input from fans, sponsors and others before a final decision is made about its new permanent name.