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Washington Football Team officially changes name to Washington Commanders

On Wednesday, the Washington Football Team officially announced, in an exclusive statement to TODAY, that its new name would be the Washington Commanders.

The team originally said it would be changing its name in July of 2020 from the Washington Redskins after it had been accused for years of being a racist nickname to Native Americans.

“It’s a name that has the weight and meaning befitting a 90-year-old franchise,” said Commanders team president Jason Wright to Craig Melvin referring to the new name.

“It’s something that broadly resonated with our fans, and it’s something that we believe embodies the values of service and leadership that really define the DMV [the District, Maryland, and Virginia] and this community. It’s also something importantly that we could own and grow for the next 90 years.”

The team accepted more than 40,000 fan submissions for the new name. The team has been known for the past two seasons as the Washington Football Team while it was in the hunt for a new name and mascot.

Team officials announced last month that a new name, logo, and identity would soon be revealed on TODAY. “As an organization, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation’s capital,” said Washington owner Dan Snyder. 

The team’s uniforms are set to remain in the long-standing burgundy and gold color scheme. Head coach of the team Ron Rivera said the change in the name reflects a new era coming for the franchise.

“To me it really is about renaming the team,” he said, “but I also think it’s about turning the page to a new chapter. We’ve had a lot of unfortunate things that have happened. But as we go forward what I’m trying to do is, hey, buy into judging us now and where we’re headed as opposed to where we’ve been.” 

ARTICLE: ELIZABETH HERTZBERG

MANAGING EDITOR: CARSON CHOATE

PHOTO CREDITS: CNBC

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