City Desk

Hail to the _________!


What's in a Team Name?

For years, the Kansas City Star has had an editorial policy against using the nickname for the NFL team that plays its games in Landover, Md. This weekend, the paper's public editor took on some reader complaints about it. "I remain unconvinced by every argument I've ever heard that the name is not a racial epithet, plain and simple," public editor Derek Donovan wrote. "I find it inconceivable that the NFL still allows such a patently offensive name and mascot to represent the league in 2012."

We at Washington City Paper agree that the nickname ought to go. Yes, we realize opinion is split among Native Americans over the issue. But we have a hard time imagining a world where a modern pro sports team called itself, say, the Washington Kikes (to choose an example that picks on my own heritage), even if some Jewish fans didn't mind. Still, the solution the Star has found seems less than perfect—they drop the nickname altogether and just refer to the team as "Washington." Sports teams have names; we just wish this team had a different one. Besides, referring to "Washington" winning or losing might leave readers wondering which Washington team we mean—the Nationals? The Wizards? The Caps? And sadly, there are quite a few District residents who root for a different team altogether.

So instead, we're holding a contest to pick a new City Paper-approved nickname for the local NFL crew. Submit a new nickname below, and our designers Jandos Rothstein and Carey Jordan will come up with new burgundy-and-gold logos for the ones we like best. Once we've settled on a new name, we'll use it in City Paper in lieu of the old one, and everyone will know who we mean—because it'll be the name you helped pick.

Of course, we've had our differences recently with team owner Dan Snyder, so we don't necessarily expect him to follow our lead.

We'll pick some favorites and let you vote on the new name after we've narrowed it down a bit.

Illustration by Carey Jordan
Correction: Due to a reporting error, this post initially misidentified the Kansas City Star's public editor. His name is Derek Donovan. Ad Astrum is the name of his blog.

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  1. #1

    Perhaps this option is a bit long-winded.

  2. #2

    Paul Lukas from the Uni Watch blog published a very reasonable take on why the name Redskins (and truthfully, every Native American based nickname, even the KANSAS CITY CHIEFS), should go.

  3. #3

    While I don't really care what they're called I think the easiest one to use as a substitute would be the Washington Pigskins. Makes it obvious which sport you're talking about and is similar enough to the real name be easily understood without having to be explained every time it is used in an article. PLUS you can still say "GO SKINS!"

  4. #4

    YEAH WASHINGTON CITY PAPER~~~ The name could easily be changed just like the Bullets to Wizards. It would seem in 2012 this would be a no-brainer. Since it isn't let's go here: IMO we should consider -Washington Senators (appropriate, used before and diplomatic), Washington Revelers (appropriate given we have more bars/liquor stores per capita than any other province that is 60 square miles), Washington Renaissance Men (appropriate given most men in DC are now metro sexual), Washington Righteous (appropriate given we are SUPPOSED to be the capital of the Western World).

    Let's all face it if the name were Washington Penny pickers, Washington Crackers or the Washington Niggers there would be a HUGE problem. Bottom Line = It is a problem, the Native Americans have been gracious enough to just block the revenue from merchandise, so let's change it.

  5. #5

    If we dump the name can we dump Snyder too???

  6. #6

    Washington Warriors?

  7. #7


  8. #8

    Washington Scandals.

    That's what we do.
    That's what we be.

  9. #9

    I try to refer to the team as the Skins. It doesn't always work, especially when I preface it with Washington. But I think that's the easiest way to acknowledge the controversy surrounding the name without ignoring the team and the history that has been built here. We don't want to have another Bring back the Bullets argument going on here in DC.

  10. #10

    Washington Generals

  11. #11

    George Preston Marshall's racism is a big part of the team's history, so the new name should reflect that. As luck would have it, the letters in his name can be rearranged to spell The Emperors Gnarl Goals. Therefore, my vote is for The Emperors.

  12. #12


    I wrote about this a while back.

    My HS team, the Oak Hill Academy Warriors, are something like 7 time national champions, with alumni including Stackhouse, Melo, Durant, Rondo. They have the same colors and logo as the Redskins, but they're called the Warriors.

    It's simple.

  13. #13

    I like the Pigskins above, but given the Jewish heritage of owner Dan Snyder, I suggest we change the name to Foreskins.

  14. #14

    FYI, the name of the public editor at The Star is Derek Donovan. Ad Astrum is the name of his blog.

  15. #15


    LOGO-CAP "R"

  16. #16

    Black Squirrels - quintessential DC animal
    Red Badges - quintessential DC hall pass
    Gentrifiers - quintessential DC experience, and one that will strike fear into the hearts of all opponents.

    Then again, if we're renaming, in fairness they should be called The Landover __________, or the Washington Area __________, or the Washington Metropolitan Area _____________. I think "Washington ________" should be reserved for teams with a physical presence in the District.

  17. #17

    Washington Pimps.

  18. #18

    Just do what Kornheiser has been talking about for years and change the logo to a potato.

  19. #19

    We should be called skinless. Gotta be healthy.

  20. #20

    As a life long skins fan i never thought anything of the name, and use to defend it. Well I am now married to a native american (canadian) and living in Vancouver, bc. Where there actually is a native community. For the first time i feel the impact of the name and would never where redskins clothing here because..well, i am embarrassed.. The funny thing is..the natives here where a lot of redskins clothing as a pride thing. I was really surprised to see that. Guess its Like blacks taking ownership of the "n" word.

    Anyway.. I thought of the name "the Warriors" and im so surprised that many of you have as well! I think that should be it. It sounds bad ass. DC is a bad ass city and we need a bad ass name. Going from the bullets to the wizards was the wackest thing ever. If the skins became the warriors i could rock that with pride. HAIL

  21. #21

    In the spirit of Frank Gifford (or was it Howard Cosell?) who always referred to the New York Football Giants even after the baseball Giants moved to SF, call them the Washington Football Nationals.

  22. #22

    As with any change like this, I kind of wonder who is really pushing this issue on everyone? Why is this such a big deal all of a sudden? These changes are never without some proponent with a chance to gain - so who is it? Also, one other point: the team has been around since 1932, if this was such a large issue why don't people vote with their feet and not go to games? Show me your harm people! Who is actually hurt by this?

    Personally, I think if the name really offends people then let's change it, but I have seen zero evidence of this. More than anything, the feeling I get from the name-change-movement is just change for change's sake. I think the Redskins name has a good history behind it, and to sanitize it in the name of being politically correct seems like an overreaction.

  23. #23

    The Washington TWORs (Taxation WithOut Representation!)

  24. #24

    The term Redskins isn't offensive. Just like how the Washington Bullets didn't promote violence, it just didn't help that DC was the murder capital of the US at that specific point in time. Stop trying to be PC, the term isn't offensive, it denotes someone of Native American heritage that was usually a warrior. Second most valuable sports franchise is not going to change their name over this.

  25. #25

    Brian, your the worst. Anyone who thinks the name should be changed should be banned from lif from FedEx. I don't want them in this fan base. Fuck off

  26. #26

    Glad Dan Snyder sued you pieces of shit for even suggesting this. Get over your white guilt you fucking pussies

  27. #27

    I think the Griffins (or Gryphons) would be super appropriate, and one bad ass mascot.

  28. #28

    There is very little split among Indians with advanced degrees. It's offensive on all levels and needs to go.

  29. #29

    People need to stop being so damn sensitive. We ARE the Washington Redskins.

  30. #30

    The Hogs. It lies within the tradition of the franchise. One could still call them the pigskins or skins if they wanted to stretch it.

    The logo and uniforms could remain the same with a W in the dream catcher on the helmet...just without the feathers hanging down.

  31. #31

    So a white dude thinks a team name is offensive, split among people it is supposed to offend, and wants it to be changed? Haven't we more important matters to deal with?

  32. #32

    Washington Snyders. If it turns around, so be it; if not, we can always go "What a bunch of Snyders," and the Cleveland Browns have set the precedent already. I think anything less than the Washington Snyders would be a failure.

  33. #33

    Whatever the name, I think that it's great that the City Paper is doing this. Big props to you all for making the move.

  34. #34

    The Washington Presidents!

  35. #35

    I actually like the warriors too... let's go Washington Warriors, sounds good to me!

  36. #36

    I would say the "Washington Pigskins" (or just the "Washington Skins"—implying pigkins in the logo).


    Keep it the "Washington Redskins" but just change the logo to a football (since those are red in color anyways—that would remove the implication).

  37. #37

    I like the Washington Chief. In that way we don't have to ghange the colors of the unforms. The helmets could have a large capitol latter "W" with a "C" like the collage teams have. "Go Chief"

  38. #38

    I would take advantage of the thought the U.S. Congress gave in coming up with a great name for the airport. Let's call them "The Ronald Reagan Washington National Football Team." Nickname "The Gippers." Is everyone tired of naming things after Reagan already?

  39. #39

    The name will never change, if you don't like the name don't cover the team! REDSKINS baby!

  40. #40

    Just another gimmick by a terrible publication the name won't change and I think that's a good thing...GO REDSKINS!!

  41. #41

    So sick of all this PC crap! I am a Polak and a Cleveland Indians fan. If Native Americans are upset, let them go cry at the nearest Indian casino.

  42. #42

    pigskins is a horrible name I would never be a fan. No fan of the Redskins would ever cheer or buy anything with that stupid name!! at least pick a name fans could be proud of!! The idiot that chose pigskins should be fired!!! Pigskins would make this city a walking joke WorldWide!!! The Warriors or The Demon Warriors would be awesome and not a embarrassing name that the country would make a joke out of!!!

  43. Native American Fed JD

    There is no split among Native Americans. This is offensive as fuck. Thank you City Paper for taking a stand for tolerance.

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