Washington Football Team Changes Its Name To ‘Commanders’ & Fans Are Mixed: ‘It’ll Grow On Me’

Introducing... the Washington Commanders. Two years after ditching its racist team name, the NFL squad rebranded itself, and fans weren't immediately on board.

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Washington Commanders? Well that’s a name,” tweeted one fan on Feb. 2, right after the squad formerly known as the Washington Football Team officially confirmed the name change. The team also unveiled its new logo and uniforms, and the crowd…went mild. Can’t decide how I feel about it, but either way, it’s my team, and I’ll support them,” tweeted one ambivalent fan, and that was as positive as things got at first.

“The Commanders sounds like a team name from Any Given Sunday,” added another. “Is this an early April fools joke? Commanders???? Bro elementary kids could come up with a better name. This is coming from a HONEST Diehard Washington Fan,” remarked another. There were some positive remarks (“I like commanders. it’s a strong name” “Love the new name and the uniforms are awesome!!”) but there was a lot of flack from people who were hoping for something more exciting.

The new name was going to incorporate the military due to the team’s connection with America’s capital, according to ESPN. Some fans had hoped it would be Red Tails, a nod to the Tuskegee Airmen, the primarily African American military pilots who fought during World War II. Instead, Washington went with Commanders, which Good Morning Football pointed out, could be considered a nod to “Commander-In-Chief,” and that the name fits in, thematically, with D.C.’s other teams: the Washington Capitals and the Washington Nationals.

“In all seriousness, Commanders is fine,” tweeted one fan. “It has a tie in to the history of D.C., they kept the burgundy and gold colors. The only thing I’m not a fan if is the weird black/gold/red jersey and the logo is a bit bland but I’m happy to just have a freaking name.

Described as “not the best kept secret in DC” by team owner Dan Snyder during a press conference about the rebranding, fans have been aware that a name change was coming and that it would be the Commanders. For The Win pointed out all the times that the Washington organization “accidentally” leaked the name and logo, including showing it unblurred on NBC Sports footage, how the commanders.com domain name was transferred to the hosting site the NFL uses, and how a news helicopter captured the “Commanders” name insider the FedEx Field stadium. Also, the uniforms leaked a day ahead of the team reveal.

(Patrick Semansky/AP/Shutterstock)

“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,” team owner Dan Snyder said in a statement, per ESPN. “As we kick-off our 90th season, it is important for our organization and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy, and the greats that came before us. We continue to honor and represent the Burgundy & Gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington. Today may mark the first day for the Washington Commanders, but we are and always will be Washington.”

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