American Football: What’s in a name?

By Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw

The Washington Redskins American Football Team has announced that it will change its name and logo, because they are considered to be racist.

The NFL Team was founded in 1937 by George Preston Marshall, who believed in racial segregation, and the Team has bowed to pressure from its sponsors, which include FEDEX, NIKE, PEPSI and Bank of America. This follows the George Floyd affair and the current climate against racism in the States.

The present name is particularly offensive to Native Americans.

One new name under consideration is the Washington Warriors, and this must be chosen before the start of the new season, which is due to begin in September.

In a Press Release of 13 July 2020, the Team stated that they are developing a new name and design that:

“…. will enhance the standing of our proud, tradition rich franchise and inspire our sponsors, fans and community for the next 100 years.”

They were the last NFL Team to allow black players in the team and did so in 1962 under pressure from the Government.

Prof Dr Ian Blackshaw may be contacted by e-mail at ‘ian.blackshaw@orange.fr’