Native American Son of Washington Redskins Logo Designer Says Logo Evokes 'Pride'

Ross Houston
July 15, 2020

"The right answer is to build a process that starts to allow these people to be heard in the process of developing a new name".

The Washington Redskins announced Monday that they would be retiring their team nickname and logo, but had not yet decided on their new moniker.

This is a rebranding of seismic proportions.

Washington owner Dan Snyder had long resisted calls to change the team's name, but faced mounting demands to rethink that position as protests erupted against systemic racism after the death of Floyd, an unarmed African American, during his arrest by police in Minneapolis.

It marks a remarkable turnaround Snyder, who had previously told USA Today: "We'll never change the name". The death of George Floyd at the hands of a Minneapolis police officer made U.S. society, as well as communities around the world, take a good look in the mirror. It was only a matter of time until Washington was forced to do the same.

Walter grew up on the Blackfeet Reservation in Montana, and was later elected as the President of the National Congress of American Indians in Washington. Many dictionaries classified the term as "disparaging", "insulting" or "taboo".

Given Snyder's documented affinity for the name - it's what he planned to call the Arena Football League franchise he purchased expansion rights for in 1999 - Warriors was considered one of the leading contenders from the outset of the team's review.

Public opinion was firmly against them. However, he said that he has not been contacted by the team or the NFL. When will their reckoning come? Perhaps just as importantly, it could prevent missing on a name like the NBA's Bullets did when changing to the Wizards in the mid-1990s. Final decision will be at the discretion of the Taipei Times.

After many sponsors wrote to Daniel Snyder the owner threatening to withdraw signing and end up the financial agreements, the franchise then inaugurated a review of the team name.

However, the NFL's Super Bowl Champions Kansas City Chiefs, whose logo is an arrowhead and mascot is a horse named "Warpaint", have yet to do the same. They instead suggested a release ceremony for the new name and logo, with Snyder, who has been out of the country for much of the last three months, speaking at the event.

In Europe, Sweden's Frolunda Indians hockey team, whose name and logo is inspired Wild West characterizations, has observed from afar.

Despite Washington changing their name during political and racial tensions, some sportsbooks have turned the name change into having fun by creating odds on what the new name will be.

Philip Martin McCauley, 61, told CNN that he's been a fan of the franchise since the 1980s, and that quarterback Joe Theisman is his favorite player in franchise history.

What Does this Mean for Other Teams?

But debates surrounding Native American team names aren't always cut and dry.

A fair number of such teams also work closely with local Native American communities. In defense of their tomahawk chop logo, the Atlanta Braves maintained they "have a meaningful commitment to honor the Native American community". Those iconographies aren't helped by fans showing up in headdresses, or chanting and waving their arms in questionable ways.

FedEx recently threatened to pull its sponsorship of the team's stadium, and Fox News pointed out that "big-name retailers such as Amazon, Walmart, and Target, as well as Nike and Dick's Sporting Goods, all removed Redskins merchandise from their websites this week".

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