Redskins name change update: Washington likely to keep colors, avoid Native American imagery

Less than one week after the Redskins announced they would “undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” reports indicate the team is well past the review stage and moving quickly to remove the racial slur and replace it with a new nickname.

As a source told the Washington Post this week, “in effect, (the review) buys time” for team owner Daniel Snyder to speak with advisors and NFL officials who are helping him pick a new team name.

While it’s unclear whether Snyder has settled on a new nickname for his team, ESPN’s Adam Schefter reported Wednesday that “Washington is planning to have no Native American imagery” on its logos and uniforms under the new name. Washington’s burgundy and gold color scheme, though, reportedly is unlikely to change.

“That could, perhaps, change in the future,” ESPN’s John Keim reported, “but the plan for now is to keep the color scheme as they undergo a search for a new name.”

The combination of those two reports suggests Washington quarterback Dwayne Haskins’ top choice for the team’s new nickname — the Redtails — could still be an option. As SN’s Jordan Heck notes, “Redtails” would allow Washington fans to keep their apparently sacred “HTTR” motto.

From a graphic created by SB Nation fantasy editor Pete Rogers: “The name Redtails celebrates the WWII Tuskegee Airmen, who were the first African-American military aviators in the U.S. Armed Forces. The nickname Redtails comes from their planes, which had a distinct crimson tail.”

According to the Post, Snyder is informally receiving advice from Jay Leveton, a partner in the Washington-based marketing firm The Stagwell Group, on the selection of a new name. The report indicated the team had not yet reached out to Native American leaders or advocacy groups for input, which would make sense if Washington indeed is avoiding Native American imagery altogether.

Coach Ron Rivera said last week he has been speaking with Snyder about Washington’s nickname, and the two have even discussed possible replacements. Rivera has mentioned he hopes a new name will honor the military in some way. (As the Post notes, the D.C.-based franchise has long had close ties to the military.)

“Redtails” would do the trick in that regard, too.

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