The Washington Football Team president announced on Monday the team would not be renamed “Warriors,” because the team wants to leave behind any “linkage to Native American imagery.”
Jason Wright, the team’s president, said in his “weekly brief” he posts on the team’s website that the team has an “inclusive process to listen to all voices” and that the team will have a “particular emphasis to engaging, listening and learning from Native American leaders and individuals throughout the country.”
Wright has also written that the process to find another name had “exposed to us the very deeply-held personal feelings about our previous imagery and association — and not just the simple, easy-to-categorize ‘who’s for or who’s against’ polling of our old name.” He said that “research revealing the psychological effects of Native American team names on American Indian and Alaska Native youth.”
The organization’s president said, “moving forward with no ties to Native American imagery is the right path,” and he is “deeply grateful for the Native American community leaders who engaged with us.”
He said they shared “painful, raw and real stories that persist to this day.” This is what had “affirmed” his decision to go in a different direction and is “proudly forging ahead in this journey with a promise to our community.”
According to a survey sent to the season-ticket holders, the “Warriors” nickname was the number one option. Wright said that “context matters,” which makes the team ride on a “slippery slope” if they were to choose the name.
“We have 89 years of history in this league, and failing to acknowledge our past use of Native imagery in the consideration of the new name wouldn’t be mindful of the individuals and communities that were hurt by the previous name,” Wright added. “We’ve made significant changes in our organization and our culture, and our new name must reflect these changes.”
Wright said this “this may be disappointing for some folks” However he said, that a “new identity should unite us and in turn “bring us together the way this team comes together on the football field.”