BY MICHAEL PHILLIPS Richmond Times-Dispatch
LANDOVER, Md. — The Washington Football Team is now Commanders, an unveiling done to much fanfare by owners Dan and Tanya Snyder on Wednesday with about two dozen franchise legends on hand to help.
Washington’s renaming process began nearly two years ago when the team said it would drop the “Redskins” moniker, which had been criticized for being insensitive to Native American groups.
The speakers at the event worked to present the name as a continuation of the team’s history, instead of a new beginning.
The name is a continuation of what the team did from a branding standpoint with the Washington Football Team, where the focus was on the W and the city’s identity, and there was no mascot or logo.
Team president Jason Wright said the reveal was “just the beginning” and the team would be working on a fight song and other material in the future.
Instead, the team has a seal that it says pays homage to its nearly 90-year history.
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Nike unveiled three new uniforms to accompany the announcement. One of them is a standard burgundy that looks familiar to old uniforms. The other two represent radically different concepts, one with stylized numbers and the other with printed numbers that resemble the team’s new W logo.
The team followed the announcement with a ribbon cutting at the team store, which was stocked with new merchandise, although no jerseys were available yet.
Tanya Snyder cut the ribbon, then thanked the nearly two dozen fans for coming and told them she would buy each of them an item from the store as a thank you.
Star player Jonathan Allen represented the team. He will wear the new uniform Sunday at the Pro Bowl.
“I think it represents what you’ve done in the past,” he said, waving at the elders. “I think it does a great job of really giving us a sense of pride, something that we can all rally behind, unite and leave a rich legacy. I’m blessed to be a part of it. I’m proud to be a part of that.
“The Commanders name is going to mean something special to everyone in the community. We’re going to carry on the legacy.”