The possibilities for a new name are endless, but we know the following so far: the team is not expected to use Native American imagery in the future, a person familiar with the team’s considerations and the NFL, and this remains one Possibility for the team to keep their burgundy gold color scheme.
Two people who knew about the team’s plans said on Sunday that the organization’s preferred alternate name was rooted in a branding issue, which is why the team couldn’t announce the new name on Monday, but that doesn̵
Here’s what we know about the names that have garnered the most attention from fans and social media users:
Red wolves are gaining traction
Perhaps no substitute name has found more support in the fan base since the team announced its review than Red Wolves (or Redwolves). With the former Washington cornerback Fred Smoot among the loudest of the name – awooooo – Supporter, Red Wolves received 50 percent of the vote in the Washington Post non-academic reader survey last week among nine potential substitute names.
“That would be hype, brother,” defender Jonathan Allen, who confirmed the name with quarterback Dwayne Haskins and Redskins superfan and NBA superstar Kevin Durant, said during a Twitch stream last week.
The name also has a military bond that could appeal to Snyder and Rivera. “Red Wolves” was the nickname for HSC-84, a US Navy Reserve helicopter squadron that was suspended in 2016. Red wolves, identified as an endangered species in 1967, are real creatures that roam east of North Carolina.
There are other red wolves in the sports world. The state of Arkansas changed the name of its sports teams from Indians to Red Wolves in 2008 and is in the middle of a trademark dispute with Chattanooga Red Wolves SC of the United Soccer League over the use of the brand.
Red Tails would be an honor, Tuskegee Airmen say
Haskins has also stated that he is a fan of Red Tails (or Redtails), a name that is rooted in history. The name would celebrate Tuskegee Airmen, the nation’s first African-American air combat unit to break through the color barrier during World War II while flying P-51 Mustangs painted with red tails.
In a statement, Tuskegee Airmen Inc., an Alabama-based nonprofit organization dedicated to maintaining the performance of the more than 16,000 African Americans who participated in or supported the Army Air Corps during World War II, was “honored and delighted” by this “Please work with the team when they use Red Tails as a new name. The organization said the name “would honor the legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen and be symbolic of all of America.”
Like Redwolves, Red Tails would allow the team’s fans to continue using the HTTR slogan. What do the Tuskegee Airmen have to do with DC? About as much as Redwolves or Redskins.
Warriors couldn’t be winners
Given Snyder’s documented affinity for this name – as he called the Arena Football League franchise, for which he acquired expansion rights in 1999 – Warriors was one of the leading competitors from the start.
Social media posts and surveys aren’t always the best barometer, but Warriors didn’t seem to generate as much support as the two names above. On the other hand, Snyder has given no indication that he wants to include the opinion of the fans in the new name. As for the brand, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors could be a problem, with a coexistence agreement the most likely solution if Snyder opts for the alliterative choice.
The name could end up being something completely different
Pigskin? Pigs? Monuments? Justice? Freedom? Crap, Ocelots? The team may choose a name that has not been discussed by fans and media members alike in the past two weeks.