Washington's NFL team, formerly known as the Washington Redskins, will go by the name "Washington Football Team" until a new name is chosen. The team announced Thursday that the old name will be officially retired ahead of the season's start.
"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. "The Redskins name and logo will officially be retired by the start of the 2020 season. We encourage fans, media and all other parties to use 'Washington Football Team' immediately."
Earlier this month, the team and its owner, Daniel Snyder, announced the name would drop the "Redskins" nickname following pressure from fans and sponsors. FedEx, the team's stadium naming rights holder, demanded Snyder retire the name, which is considered an offensive slur toward Native Americans.
The team did not say how long the naming process would take, but it will play this season with the temporary title. The team's website has not yet changed its name.
"The decision to use 'Washington Football Team' for this season allows the franchise the ability to undertake an in-depth branding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community, and sponsor input," the team wrote. "To date, we have been pleased to see so many people putting forward their vision of what the new name and design should be on their social media channels and we look forward to including their feedback as this process progresses."
The team said that, beginning Friday, it will start retiring its former branding across team properties, both physical and digital. "We hope to complete this process in full by the team's home opener against the Philadelphia Eagles on September 13," it said.
Additionally, fans will soon be able to purchase "Washington Football Team" merchandise, the team said.
Several major retailers announced this month that they will no longer sell the team's merchandise on their websites. Last week, the team officially said it would be "retiring" its former name, ahead of the start of training camp on July 28.
In a statement, the National Congress of American Indians said: "We commend the Washington NFL team for eliminating a brand that disrespected, demeaned, and stereotyped all native people," and called on other teams to retire caricatures.
Synder and Head Coach Ron Rivera are working on a new name. They're reportedly interested in the "Warriors" another popular choice is the "Redtails" after the Tuskeegee Airmen. CBS Sports recently created a list of possible options, including the Hogs, Generals and Renegades.