After starting a thorough review of its nickname July 3, Washington's NFL franchise announced Monday that it has decided on a change.
While the new nickname won't be revealed just yet, it might end up being one that's quite familiar to Bay Area sports fans: the Warriors.
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Washington owner Dan Snyder previously has filed to trademark both "Washington Warriors" and "Warriors" multiple times, and The 980's Kevin Sheehan reported on his podcast that the name is the leader in the clubhouse to replace the previous insensitive moniker.
However, Snyder could run into some issues. He owned the rights to any Arena Football League expansion franchise in the Washington area, and was expected to name them the Warriors, but he ultimately abandoned his quest for the trademark.
In April 2019, the trademark office sent Snyder a letter saying he had six months to respond if he still was interested in the Warriors name. He did not respond, and by October, the trademark office issued a "partial abandonment" ruling, meaning Snyder only could use the trademark for football and not for memorabilia.
Another thing stands in the way of Snyder rebranding the team the Washington Warriors. A 61-year-old man named Martin McCaulay is a trademark squatter, a person who filed for trademarks so larger corporations eventually must pay him for them. McCaulay's trademarks include the Washington Redtailed Hawks, Washington Americans, Washington Federals and Washington Monuments, per The Washington Times, and he filed to trademark "Washington Warriors" in 2015. It now is suspended and under review. McCaulay said Snyder will have to "get in line" if he wants to use it.
"Warriors" also seem to be a popular choice among fans, with several logo and uniform mockups hitting Twitter in recent weeks.
I really don’t understand the argument that people don’t want the Warriors name because of the NBA teams success...— Offseason Champions (@HTTRChamps) July 11, 2020
There would be absolutely no confusion, there would be no overshadowing... this is the NFL and we would be the Washington Warriors. #WashingtonWarriors #Warriors pic.twitter.com/wX0wgslR1o
Some of the simpler "Warriors" logo designs out there for Washington.— Paul Conner (@P_ConnerJr) July 9, 2020
1. The DC Flag football
2. The Dog Tags
3. Another Flag Variation
4. Airborne design. pic.twitter.com/VhiSXJyAKX
Washington Warriors? Some combination of these? Or spear with no feather?— Paul Conner (@P_ConnerJr) July 5, 2020
Throwing spears were used by Romans, Greeks, Knights, among many others in the middle ages. pic.twitter.com/xWsa3sqJnW
The Washington NFL franchise, which has a Dec. 13 game against the 49ers at Levi's Stadium on its schedule, opened a review of its nickname after Snyder began to face pressure after protests for social justice and racial equality began in May. Snyder previously has said he would sell the team before changing the offensive nickname.
But after FedEx said it would pull all signage from the stadium unless it was changed by 2021, and Nike pulled all gear from its website, it was clear a change was imminent. By the time the franchise announced the nickname was under thorough review, Snyder reportedly already had been in talks with the NFL about a name change, per ESPN.