The name actually leaked out over the past two days, but was officially unveiled on NBC’s Today. It replaces the temporary generic name of “Washington Football Team,” in place since the team dropped the Redskins after years of outcry that it was racist and derogatory to Native Americans.
The name also was unveiled on Twitter with a new video featuring quick edits and an action movie-like soundtrack.
In a statement, co-owner and co-CEO Dan Snyder said: “As an organization, we are excited to rally and rise together as one under our new identity while paying homage to our local roots and what it means to represent the nation’s capital. As we kick off our 90th season, it is important for our organization and fans to pay tribute to our past traditions, history, legacy and the greats that came before us.”
He noted that the team’s logo and look “continue to honor and represent the Burgundy & Gold while forging a pathway to a new era in Washington. Today may mark the first day for the Washington Commanders, but we are and always will be Washington.”
The team actually plays at FedEx Field in Landover, Md., about nine miles from the Capitol, but politicians in Virginia have introduced bills in an effort lure the franchise to the D.C. suburbs in that state.
The team said that the name was selected after more than 40,000 fan submissions as well as surveys and focus groups. The team moved to Washington in 1937 and has won three Super Bowls.
Last year, Cleveland’s baseball team announced a new name—the Guardians—after criticism that the Indians was racially insensitive.