In 2020, amidst nationwide protests for racial equality, the Washington franchise ceased using the Redskins name to become what we know today as the Commanders. Fast forward three years, and the NFL club now faces legal action for transitioning away from that name.
Washington has suffered several changes recently. First, they were asked to move on from the Redskins name due to accusations of racism. This year, Dan Snyder sold the franchise to a group led by Josh Harris, and fans are really excited about it.
Following Josh Harris’ purchase, one of the most common questions was whether the club would return to being the Redskins. Initially, they denied the possibility of ceasing to be the Commanders, but now, a lawsuit might change their stance.
The Commanders face a lawsuit for not using the Redskins name
The Washington franchise received numerous calls three years ago to change its name amid protests for racial equality. This pressure was effective, leading the team to transition from the Redskins to the Washington Football Team.
The franchise began searching for new names, and a poll determined that they would become the Commanders. However, society is now urging the team to return to its former name, and they have engaged law enforcement in the matter.
The Native American Guardians Association (NAGA) has filed a lawsuit against the Commanders, demanding that they revert to the Redskins name. The team is facing a defamation lawsuit seeking $1.6 million in damages.
By changing it, they have dishonored many years of Native American tradition and heritage, according to NAGA. The suit says that the Commanders have a “monopoly on the narrative” over the Native American sentiment.
“The logo on the Redskin’s helmet is an actual person, it’s Chief White Calf. Every time they go out on that field, they were honoring Chief White Calf and they were battling on the football field with the same honor and integrity and courage,” Chad LaVeglia, NAGA’s representative, said. “They should continue to honor that.”
Which names have the Washington Commanders had?
The franchise was founded in Boston as the Braves in 1932. A year later they became the Redskins, but moved to Washington in 1937. In 2020, the team played as the Washington Football Team, and turned into the Commanders in 2022.