Washington soccer team plans exposed even as bad news accumulates

The Washington football team announced on Tuesday that it will unveil a new name and “identity” on Groundhog Day, February 2, the culmin...


The Washington football team announced on Tuesday that it will unveil a new name and “identity” on Groundhog Day, February 2, the culmination of an 18-month rebranding caused by loss of business sponsors who opposed the old team name.

In July 2020, the NFL team bowed to pressure from fans, sponsors and Native American groups and dropped the 87-year-old franchise name, which had long been viewed as a racial insult to Native Americans. The organization adopted the simplified identifier as a placeholder when searching for new images. Since then, the franchise has teased new names – RedWolves, Admirals, Generals, Armada, Presidents – in social media ads and statements from Jason Wright, the team president.

The public effort is the latest push to overhaul one of the NFL’s most troubled franchises that has been embroiled in numerous off-court scandals to accompany years of dismal performance on the court.

Tuesday’s announcement came just days after Washington was again knocked out of the playoffs. The team fell 10 points ahead of the Philadelphia Eagles in their final home game of the season on Sunday, losing 20-16. After the game, many Eagles fans, reaching out to greet their team’s quarterback Jalen Hurts as he left the pitch, fell almost 10 feet in a tunnel at FedEx Field when a railing gave way. Hurts was not injured and at least one fan went to the hospital.

Hurts was sufficiently alarmed that on Tuesday he sent a letter to the Washington football team and the NFL asking “what follow-up action is being considered”. Wright received the letter and offered to speak to Hurts, according to team spokesperson Sean DeBarbieri.

In a video released on Tuesday, team leaders and Washington coach Ron Rivera looked at potential helmets and jerseys that include the team’s burgundy and gold colors.

Wright, in a press release published on the team website, has eliminated from controversy the two variants of the name RedWolves, preferred by fans because they conflict with trademarks held by other teams that “would limit our ability to make the name our own.”

The introduction of a new name and logo in four weeks will be a welcome distraction for a club plagued by negative news. For most of 2020 and 2021, the team’s majority owner, Daniel Snyder, has been embroiled in a contentious fight with three longtime sponsors of the franchise. After several rounds of jostling and legal battles, the the league owners agreed to let Snyder buy out his former partners for $ 875 million and fully consolidate his ownership of the team.

At the same time, the the league has resumed an investigation in reports of widespread harassment of women who worked for the team, allegations that date back almost two decades. In July, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell fined the franchise a record $ 10 million and ordered Snyder to stay away from the team’s facilities for several months. But Goodell has created another controversy by refusing to make the findings of that investigation public, despite calls to do so by lawyers for some of the women who have laid the charges and members of Congress.

The Washington football team have also been criticized by fans after announcing they would be removing the uniform number of Sean Taylor, a beloved star defenseman who at 27 was murdered in a 2007 home invasion. , just days after the New York Times published emails in which Jon Gruden made homophobic and misogynistic comments in emails he sent to Bruce Allen, the former team president.

Taylor’s shirt removal ceremony took place three days after the announcement, leaving little time for his former teammates to attend; his family posed for photos with the famous street sign for him where the team had placed a line of portable toilets; and Kansas City quarterback’s brother Patrick Mahomes unknowingly danced to the logo on the field with Taylor’s number on it.

After, Wright apologized in a statement, stating “We messed up the execution and as a result we realize that we have deeply hurt a lot of our fans. And for that, me and us as an organization are sorry.

There was just 50,137 tickets sold at this game, well below the capacity of FedEx Field. Washington is last in the league of the 32 teams present, occupying only 64% of its seats at home games.

At 6-10 with one game to play in the 2021 season, Washington is assured of its 14th losing campaign this century. He won only one playoff game – in the 2005 season – during this period.

Videos released on Tuesday expressed the team’s hope that their new name and identity will change their fortunes in the coming year.

“No doubt about it, we’re moving forward,” said Doug Williams, the former Super Bowl-winning team quarterback.

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Newsrust - US Top News: Washington soccer team plans exposed even as bad news accumulates
Washington soccer team plans exposed even as bad news accumulates
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