Professional sports teams change their names. Albeit usually due to relocation, it is not an unheard of practice. Teams move. Times change. Seattle Supersonics became the Oklahoma City Thunder. The New Orleans Hornets – without moving – became the New Orleans Pelicans. The Washington Redskins now need to engage in this practice. Though they are not moving, not having new ownership, not getting a new stadium, or engaging in any major overhaul, their politically incorrect name should be adjusted for future generations.
Redskins owner Daniel Snyder has repeatedly said that the team will “never” change their name, but this is a poor decision. Snyder – while he has admittedly made some reckless football decisions – is a shrewd businessman and changing this name would be a fascinating decision. While the new name would not suddenly change or hinder the popularity or history of the franchise, it would open new doors. New merchandise, jerseys, and memorabilia would represent a fascinating opportunity.
Snyder has chosen to take the hard line, asserting that he will never make this change. That is his right, but the consistent criticisms his organization faces do not help business. Snyder asserts that there is an element of tradition that will be lost or tainted if the Redskins change their name. However, maintaining the ways things have always been done – when they are not an appropriate or upstanding means – is not a good rationale. Snyder is a businessman, and he must realize that change is often for the better.
Gabe Isaacson is a writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter: @gabeisaacson.