Washington Football Team president says there's a 'pretty good chance' the former Redskins keep placeholder name in 2021 before rebranding
The Washington Football Team could keep its temporary name through the 2021 season before rebranding because, as one executive explained, the club is taking a very cautious approach to this 'business decision.'
In an interview with WJLAon Tuesday, team president Jason Wright said 'there is a pretty good chance we will still be the Washington Football Team next season.'
'Everybody needs to take a deep breath,' Wright said, adding that the organization wants to engage the community, stakeholders and fans about the name change.
'It's not coming tomorrow. It's a business decision, we need to understand that market.'
The organization dropped the 87-year-old 'Redskins' on July 13 as club minority owners, sponsors, and advocacy groups increased pressure against owner Dan Snyder.
'I think next year is fast because of how the brand has to come together through uniforms, through approval processes through the league,' Wright said.
'Next year is fast. There is a pretty good chance we will still be the Washington Football Team next season. We could get there quicker, it's actually pretty hard to get there that quickly because of all the steps that need to happen.'
Native American advocates and experts have long criticized the previous name, which they call a 'dictionary-defined racial slur.' Over a dozen Native leaders and organizations wrote to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell in July demanding an immediate end to Washington's use of the name. Goodell, who had previously rejected calls for a name change, said he supported the review.
Protests against the name predate Snyder buying the team in 1999, and until this year, he had shown no willingness to consider a change.
Wright is in his first year with the team after becoming the league's first African-American team president in August.
He previously played running back for the Atlanta Falcons, Cleveland Browns, and Arizona Cardinals before retiring in 2011 to earn his business degree from the University of Chicago.
On Tuesday, Wright also told WJLA that the team won't allow fans in for Sunday's game against the Dallas Cowboys, hinting that Week 9 against the New York Giants on November 8 is the target date.
'It's too quick of a turnaround for us to feel like we can do it safely,' Wright said. 'This week, we will continue to expand the family, friends and staff approach this week for the Cowboys game. Especially something like this, I like to move fast, but I don't like to rush.
'If you want to pencil something on the calendar, I would look at the Giants week. That gives us the right time to prepare,' Wright said.
NFL teams have been asked to follow local health guidelines, although some teams, such as the Miami Dolphins, have taken a more cautious approach as governors have lifted restrictions amid rising infections.