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Washington Redskins and 13 Teams That Could Be Forced to Change Their Names

Team Names That Could be Changed After Washington Redskins

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The process of forcing the Washington Redskins to change their name has begun as the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has canceled the franchise’s trademark. Of course, this is just the beginning; a ton of other pro, college and even high school (there are approximately 60 high school teams in the U.S. that use “redskins” as mascots) may soon be forced to change their names as well. Here’s a look at the most notable 10.

13. Alcorn State Braves

Alcorn State v Creighton
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13. Alcorn State Braves

Alcorn State v Creighton
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The Alcorn State Braves and Lady Braves are located in Lorman, Miss. They are in Division I and play in the Southwestern Conference.

If nothing else, they could be forced to change because “lady braves” is wrong in all kinds of ways.

12. Spokane Indians

Spokane-Indians
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12. Spokane Indians

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The Spokane Indians are a minor league baseball team in Spokane, Wash., and an affiliate of the Texas Rangers. Just like the Cleveland Indians of the big leagues, they could be forded to change their moniker soon because the term “Indians” just isn’t politically correct anymore.

11. Spokane Chiefs

Spokane Chiefs v Kelowna Rockets
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11. Spokane Chiefs

Spokane Chiefs v Kelowna Rockets
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Here’s another Spokane-based team walking a fine line with its name. The major junior hockey team is very popular, so you have to wonder how fans would respond if there was a calling to change the nickname.

10. Chicago Blackhawks

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10. Chicago Blackhawks

NHL Season Cancelled
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Founded in 1926, this expansion NHL team was named after the 86th Infantry Division in World War I, nicknamed the “Blackhawk Division,” in which the team’s first real owner, Frederic McLaughlin, was a commander. The Blackhawk Division was named after Black Hawk, a Native American of the Sauk nation. The team name was actually misspelled as two words until 1986.

9. Atlanta Braves

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

9. Atlanta Braves

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

After playing under a multitude of team names from 1869 to 1912, the team that played first in Cincinnati and then in Boston finally settled on the name “Braves” while still in Massachusetts. They were named after the fierce Native American warrior, called a “brave” for short. After a move to Milwaukee, they finally laid root in Atlanta and are the team we know today.

8. Cleveland Indians

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8. Cleveland Indians

Twins v Indians X
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Founded in 1865 as an amateur team, the Cleveland baseball club played under several different names before the club owner made a request for a new team name following the 1914 MLB season. This was two years after the Boston team had renamed itself the Braves so the Cleveland media chose the Indians.

7. Florida State Seminoles

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7. Florida State Seminoles

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In 1947, the students at Florida State University held a vote to decide on a mascot. They chose the Seminoles, a name that alludes to the Seminole nation that resisted efforts by the U.S. government to remove them from Florida in the early 1800s.

6. Central Michigan Chippewas

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6. Central Michigan Chippewas

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This Mid-American Conference school has always been known as the Chippewas, which refers to the nearby Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe. When all of the efforts to remove “offensive” team names began, Central Michigan was under fire in 2005, but appealed the NCAA’s decision to change its name with the support of the Saginaw Chippewas.

5. Utah Utes

Pac-12 Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals - Utah v Arizona
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5. Utah Utes

Pac-12 Basketball Tournament - Quarterfinals - Utah v Arizona
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The state of Utah’s name came from the Native American Ute Tribe and that tribe also is the inspiration for the school’s mascot. When the name was originally given to the school, the Ute Tribe game the university explicit permission to use it. Until 1972, the school also used the term “Redskins” interchangeably with “Utes” but stopped that term’s use because it was found to be an “ethnic slur.”

4. Kansas City Chiefs

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4. Kansas City Chiefs

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Originally founded as the Dallas Texans, the franchise relocated to Kansas City in 1963 and a fan contest determined the new name: Chiefs. It was actually not a Native American reference; it was then-Kansas City mayor Harold Bartle’s nickname. However, Bartle got the nickname from his professional role in founding the Scouting Society, the Tribe of Mic-O-Say. Mules and Royals got the most votes by fans, but Chiefs was chosen for obvious reasons.

3. Illinois Fighting Illini

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3. Illinois Fighting Illini

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The name Illini actually refers to the Illinoisans who fought in World War I, although its origin dates back to the 1800s. Until 2007, the school used the symbol of Chief Illiniewk, a figure of Illinois Past Sioux elder Frank Fools Crow, as its logo. Fools Crow’s grandson fought the use of his grandfather’s likeness and the capital letter “I” is now used as the logo instead.

2. San Diego State Aztecs

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2. San Diego State Aztecs

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Before adopting the name Aztecs in 1924, the school was known as the Normalites, Professors and Wampus Cats. A committee met that year and decided on the new name, which has been used ever since. San Diego State’s mascot is the Aztec warrior, previously known as “Monty Montezuma.”

1. Edmonton Eskimos

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1. Edmonton Eskimos

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The current franchise was founded in 1949, but multiple teams used the nickname Eskimos dating back to the late 19th century. The first name of the club was Equimaux in 1897 and then changed to Eskimos in 1910 in reference to the nearby Eskimo Indian tribes. With the recent uprising about the Redskins’ name, many media members in Edmonton feel it’s only a matter of time before the same happens to the Eskimos.