Welcome to the first edition of our new man on the street video series where we ask non-Washingtonians very Washington questions. Every week, Anthony and I take to the streets of our fair city to ask tourists from all over the world (including Middle America) questions about uniquely Washingtonian problems. This week, we decided to see what if non-Redskins fans could help solve the controversy over its unfortunate name. Here’s some background for those of you who live under a rock (or happen to be a tourist who has no idea what American football is, let alone who the Redskins are):
The decades-long controversy surrounding the Washington Redskins’ name has recently resurged, with franchise owner Dan Snyder declaring to USA Today that, “We’ll never change the name… It’s that simple. NEVER – you can use caps.”
A lifelong Redskins fan, Snyder believes that Redskins fans will understand the “great tradition” behind the name of the team.
Two weeks after this declaration, 10 members of Congress got involved. They sent a letter urging a name change to Snyder, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell, NFL sponsor FedEx, and the other 31 NFL franchises.
This contention is unlikely to be resolved anytime soon, with many designating the name a racial slur for Native Americans, and just as many saying that the name is a ‘term of endearment, and has connotations of bravery and honor.’
Bloomberg Businessweek reported Thursday that they asked Lexicon Branding, a firm renowned for creating memorable brands like BlackBerry and Febreze, to come up with possible new names for the Washington Redskins. The new names were Rocs, Metros, Leopards and Skins. Lexicon analyzed the names of the 32 NFL teams and created new name possibilities from there.