For 2020, the football franchise in Washington will be known as the Washington Football Team. After that, a permanent name change will eventually take place. Whether that strategy works or not, some fans have voiced frustration about the name change in general.
The frustrations stem from the viewpoint that a name change erases the past history and tradition of the franchise. Those feelings are something Ron Rivera can understand.
“Initially, I’m one of those that grew up with the Washington Redskins and I was a Redskins fan," Rivera said on CBS This Morning.
However, a new era in Washington has demanded change. Even with fond memories of what the franchise once was, Rivera is now tasked with resetting the culture and leading the team toward a brighter future.
It's something he is all-in on, but not all fans can say the same. So, how does Rivera plan on winning over supporters who may be disgruntled by the transition? It doesn't have as much to do with the name as it does with how the team performs on the field.
"We’re going to try and win the fans over by playing good football more so than anything else," Rivera said. "When you play well, when you win football games, people get behind you and they support you.”
A big step in changing the perspective of fans in relation to the name change will be fixing the results on the field. The rebrand in Washington doesn't end with a name change for Rivera, it's only the beginning. To really make an impact, the culture that was recently exposed can no longer exist. The same can be said for the play that has taken place on the field for a majority of the past decade.
“We’ve got to do the things the right way. We’ve got to change the culture as to who we are and really, kind of not just rebrand the name but rebrand the style of football we’re going to play," Rivera said. "Rebrand the way we do things and that’s probably one of the most important things we’ve got to do right now.”
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