Washington’s N.F.L. team will retire Redskins branding and adopt a placeholder team name until it can decide on a permanent name, the organization said Thursday, weeks after announcing it would yield to pressure from sponsors and activists and drop the name it has used for nearly 90 years.
“For updated brand clarity and consistency purposes, we will call ourselves the ‘Washington Football Team’ pending adoption of our new name,” the team said in a news release, adding that the logo would be retired by the start of the 2020 season in September.
The team also said it would roll out an aesthetic that would reflect the direction of the new franchise as it changes.
The team also tweeted a design for new uniforms, which featured its existing color scheme and a numeral on its helmet instead of the drawn profile of a Native American face.
The team advertised forthcoming “Washington Football Team” merchandise, and on its website shared prototypes of the temporary logo, uniform concepts and field designs that included an N.F.L. logo at midfield. The end zones in its mock field design read “Washington Football Team, Est. 1932.”
Team officials did not return messages seeking comment on Thursday. It was not immediately clear whether fans — if spectators are allowed at all during the coronavirus pandemic — would be allowed to wear merchandise with the old logo to games. It was also not clear whether the team would eventually change its distinctive burgundy and gold colors, a move sought by Native American groups and nearly 150 federally recognized tribes in a letter sent to N.F.L. Commissioner Roger Goodell this month.
The team is scheduled to open its season Sept. 13 against the Philadelphia Eagles.
On July 13, 10 days after announcing it would review the 87-year-old team name and under mounting pressure from corporate sponsors, fans and Native American activists, the team said it would drop its logo and the name “Redskins,” a term many had long considered a racial slur.
The team’s owner, Daniel Snyder, had previously been uncooperative in changing the team’s name, but said the new name would “take into account not only the proud tradition and history of the franchise but also input from our alumni, the organization, sponsors, the National Football League and the local community it is proud to represent on and off the field.”
The name change came after weeks of national unrest following the killing of George Floyd in police custody in Minneapolis in late May, and as much of the country quickly moved to change historical representations that use racist symbols.
Last month, the Washington franchise spent several days removing a monument and remembrances honoring its former owner, George Preston Marshall, from team facilities and its website. The change came amid pressure on the team to acknowledge Marshall’s resistance to signing and drafting African-American players and his decision in 1933 to name the team the “Redskins.” A memorial of Marshall, which had stood in front of R.F.K. Stadium, the team’s former arena, was removed by a city agency after being defaced.
Last week, the team was once again in the spotlight as 15 women said they were sexually harassed while employed by the team.