Recently NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell defended the Redskins name in a letter to Congress. This of course is to respond to the recent growing sentiment to change the Redskins name because it is a slur to Native Americans.
Also on Wednesday, Bloomberg BusinessWeek asked a branding expert and also a logo designer to think of new names for the Redskins. Image shown here from Business Week. My first reaction to the suggested names was that this might be worse than the Bullets to Wizards renaming.
I'm somewhat conflicted on the name of the Redskins. I am of Asian descent. I've heard many slurs, so I understand the reasons Native Americans may be offended by the name. At the same time, this is a name that's been in use for decades. It's part of the Washington, DC culture. Short of a Stanley Cup, World Series, or NBA Championship, the Capitals, Nationals, and Wizards will not lead this town. However, when it comes down to it, the name has to go. Offending an entire race of persons is not the way to go. Goodell said what he said because he works for the NFL and the Redskins are part of the NFL. Only a groundswell of changing the name or some miracle of a court ruling will really get the name changed.
However, if you look at what this branding consultant came up with, it just falls flat. None of the names suggested, Rocs, Metros, Leopards, and Skins really work well. But I guess that's the point, right? We're used to the Redskins so we're biased. But Rocs? WTF is that? Leopards? I'm not sure there are many around the Washington Metro area and just because that's how teams are being named is a plain stupid reason. Metros was interesting until I saw someone write "We all hate the Metro (subway) so that's not going to work". The only name that might hold up is the Skins, but I'm not sure moving from Redskins to Skins will really improve the perception. So may I make a suggestion that Washington Baseball didn't take. The Washington Senators are here.