Group co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder pose for a photograph with the brand new workforce uniforms throughout the announcement of the Washington Soccer Group’s identify change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.
Rob Carr | Getty Photos
The Washington Soccer Group formally modified its identify to the Washington Commanders.
The change was revealed by the workforce’s president, Jason Wright, who appeared on NBC’s “TODAY” program on Wednesday morning. The announcement ends a search that took multiple 12 months after the membership ditched its former identify – the “Redskins” – in July 2020 after company sponsors together with FedEx threatened to drag enterprise. The identify has lengthy been thought-about a racist slur towards Native Individuals.
“It is a identify that has the burden and that means befitting a 90-year-old franchise,” Wright stated of the Commanders. “It is one thing that broadly resonated with our followers and its one thing that we consider embodies the values of service and management that basically outline the [District of Columbia, Maryland and Virginia area].
An in depth view of a Washington Commanders brand throughout the announcement of the Washington Soccer Group’s identify change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.
Rob Carr | Getty Photos
“It is also one thing importantly that we might personal, and develop for the subsequent 90 years,” Wright added.
Washington joins the Cleveland Guardians, which had beforehand eliminated logos mimicking Native Individuals. The Main League Baseball franchise modified its identify last July – dropping the “Indians” after critics argued it was racist. The Guardians identify goes into impact for the 2022 MLB season.
Wright has stated a brand new workforce identification would begin the method of accelerating the worth of the membership, which continues to be repairing its picture after office misconduct allegations.
However regardless of a roller-coaster 12 months in 2021, which noticed workforce proprietor Dan Snyder step away, and the workforce lacking the playoffs for the 17th time in his 23 years of possession, Washington stays the fifth most beneficial Nationwide Soccer League franchise at $4.2 billion, in line with Forbes.
Wright stated the workforce thought-about the identify “Wolves” which was a fan favourite, however “emblems held by different groups would restrict our capacity to make the identify our personal,” he wrote in a blog post on Jan. 4. “And with out Wolves, variations like Purple Wolves would not have been viable both for these and different causes,” he stated.
With its new identify in place, count on the franchise to press ahead with a new stadium to exchange the dilapidated FedEx Discipline, which is situated in Prince George’s County, Maryland. The advanced made the headlines after deteriorating throughout the 2021 season. Points included a damaged sewer pipe and a railing that collapsed after a loss to the Philadelphia Eagles on Jan. 2
An exterior view of FedExField earlier than a recreation between the Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins at FedExField on October 21, 2018 in Landover, Maryland.
Patrick McDermott | Getty Photos
That course of might be led by Wright, the NFL’s first Black workforce president, and Snyder.
“The clock is ticking on that,” Wright told CNBC in August 2020 concerning the brand new advanced. “That could be a main endeavor and an financial driver not only for the membership, however for your entire area.”
The membership’s lease at FedEx Discipline expires in 2027. It was beforehand enthusiastic about a brand new 60,000-seat stadium at its outdated RFK web site in Washington, D.C, the place the workforce performed from 1961 to 1996.
The factor is, the U.S. Division of the Inside owns the land RFK occupies. Therefore, the workforce must safe one other lease to function on the property. As well as, the membership would wish to fulfill native D.C. officers. Virginia politicians, together with new Gov. Glenn Youngkin, are pushing to lure the workforce with a brand new stadium, too.
That could possibly be a neater route for the franchise than the RFK web site, because the workforce is not the preferred sports club on Capitol Hill.
Group co-owners Dan and Tanya Snyder pose for a photograph with present workforce members and alumni throughout the announcement of the Washington Soccer Group’s identify change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on February 02, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.
Rob Carr | Getty Photos
In 2021, Snyder settled a dispute with co-owners, together with FedEx Chairman Fred Smith, when he reportedly paid $875 million to purchase minority shares of the workforce. Final June, the workforce named his spouse, Tanya Snyder, as co-CEO. The next month, the NFL fined the workforce $10 million following an investigation surrounding sexual misconduct allegations.
Dan Snyder then gave up management of the day-to-day operations to give attention to a brand new stadium.