Rebrand Washington Football appreciates that Robert McCartney, in his May 3 Regional Memo column, “ ‘Red Wolves’ sounds better to me than WFT,” urged the Washington Football Team to avoid names that have associations with Native American themes and imagery.

It is not enough to get rid of racial slurs as names. A new name must be devoid of reference to or connotation of Native American culture, physical attributes or stereotypical characteristics. Even if the name “Warriors” is used without a Native American logo, people will cling to stereotypical and harmful images of Native Americans as “brave warriors” that lack the sophistication and cultural breadth of the Native American community. 

The team continues to make the mistake of not reaching out to Native American leaders such as Amanda Blackhorse or Suzan Shown Harjo. If the team seeks restorative justice for the harms of the previous name, it must listen to and abide by the wishes of the Native American community. A survey of season ticket holders is not a sufficient basis to develop a consensus and enthusiasm for a new name embraced by all in this region.

If the team claims to represent us, it must engage us. 

Josh Silver, Bethesda

The writer is co-founder of Rebrand Washington Football.