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Washington head coach Ron Rivera: Changing team name before start of 2020 season ‘would be awesome’

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Ron Rivera has gone from abstaining on commenting about the name of the Washington football franchise to being quite vocal about the looming name change from “Redskins” — a term viewed by many as a racial slur toward Native Americans. His latest comments come shortly after the franchise issued a formal statement noting the name would be placed under official review by owner Dan Snyder and Co., Snyder having been long dug-in on “never” changing the name prior to now. The now, of course, was prompted by immense pressure applied by federal officials, Nike, FedEx and Pepsi, with NFL commissioner Roger Goodell supporting the change and alleging conversations had begun regarding it weeks prior.

For his part, the now vocal Rivera admits at points in the past he never thought twice about the name, but the current temperature of the U.S. as it relates to inequality and social injustice have changed his view on it.

“My eyes are wide open,” he said, via The Washington Post

Furthermore, he’d love if the new name was chosen before a single snap is played in 2020. 

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“If we get it done in time for the season, it would be awesome,” Rivera said, noting he and Washington ownership have discussed early possibilities, but refraining from sharing what they are. “We came up with a couple of names — two of them I really like.”

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The official process of selecting a name hasn’t been disclosed as of yet, other than the team noting it would involve a sweeping discussion with all involved, Rivera making it clear he doesn’t want the process or the new name itself to be viewed as “a joke.”

“We want to do this in a positive way,” he added.

Potential names have been flying around the internet since the announcement the current one would go under review — hinting at a likely change — and franchise quarterback Dwayne Haskins has already taken a liking to one of them.

“I like the Redtails,” the former first-round pick noted on Twitter

Time will ultimately reveal how it’ll be chosen and what it’ll be, but it’s safe to say Rivera would like to see it all resolved sooner than later. To be more specific, if it were solely up to him, it seemingly would be done before Washington plays its first game this season, which is entirely possible when considering discussions formally began in early July, and allegedly informally weeks prior.

“If we get it done in time for the season, it would be awesome.”


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