After years of backlash, the Washington Redskins are conducting an internal review of their team name. How soon the team’s name is changed, as well as what the team will be called remains up in the air, but by many accounts, the name change will happen.
However, getting owner Dan Synder to pull the trigger will be a cumbersome process.
According to a recent report, Synder isn’t necessarily on board with the decision to change the team’s name. The owner hasn’t historically been open to change.
“He seeks advice, but he only hears what he wants to hear. His favorite phrase is ‘You don’t know what you’re talking about!,'” one person close to the situation told The Washington Post.
Synder has previously stated that he would “never” change the name and he’s been dismissive of backlash in the past. However, the tension and external support for a name change has never been greater.
Redskins’ Organization Described as Chaotic
In that same piece, The Washington Post reported that the atmosphere inside the Redskins’ organization was “chaotic.”
Part of the issue is a lack of a team president. Washington let go of former team president Bruce Allen and haven’t replaced him yet. While Allen didn’t produce a winning product on the football field, he “kept things running” from a business standpoint within the organization.
New coach Ron Rivera has received recognition for how he has rebuilt the football team and his ability to establish clear expectations for players. He’s also taken initiative to lead during the COVID-19 pandemic. Yet, outside of Rivera’s efforts, those Carpenter and Clarke write that the organization has been “paralyzed by the lack of a single decision-maker.”
As we previously passed along, many within the organization do not know what is going to happen next because owner Dan Synder is only bouncing ideas and taking advice from a small, “insular” circle of advisors.
Washington D.C. Mayor Pressuring Synder?
Washington D.C. mayor Murial Bowser, during a recent interview with The Team 980, said its “past time” for the team to change the name. Here is part of the conversation:
Al Galdi (host): Is the name an obstacle? I know that’s come up in the past.
Bowser: It is an obstacle. It’s an obstacle for us locally but is also an obstacle for the federal government who leases the land to us.
Al Galdi: What is your stance on the name, ‘Redskins’?
Bowser: I think it’s past time for the team to deal with what offends so many people and this is a great franchise with a great history that’s beloved in Washington and it deserves a name that reflects the affection that we’ve built for the team.
The franchise will look for a new stadium over the next few years and if they want to go back to D.C., possibly at the old RFK location, then a name change might be necessary to receive city funding. Getting the NFL franchise to change its name in addition to returning to D.C. will be quite a win for Mayor Bower.
Bowser has previously endorsed the team coming back to D.C., saying that “all of our teams should be playing within our boundaries.” She proposed using the site of the old RFK Stadium, which is pending demolition.
“We’re not going to chase them down and we’d like them be winners when they come,” Bowser said (via Yahoo). “We don’t feel like we’re in the position to beg for this type of development. We have a great site, we think the best site in the region. And when the time is right, we’re going to make sure the site is activated.”