Take 4? New owners discuss changing Commanders name

Los Angeles Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson, part of the new ownership group of Washington's NFL team, hinted the Commanders name could be changed soon. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Once the Washington Redskins, then the Washington Football Team, the Washington Commanders are under new ownership and another potential name change.

Following the sale of the NFL franchise to the Josh Harris-led group that includes former NBA great Magic Johnson, approved by league owners Thursday in Minnesota, it appears likely the new ownership has plans to bring an entire brand overhaul to Washington.

“Everything’s on the table, especially after this year,” Johnson said Friday on the “Today” show. “We’ll see where we are with the name, but I can’t say that right now.”

Under Dan Snyder’s rule as franchise owner since 1999, the Washington franchise had three team names in 24 seasons — and two playoff wins.

Harris, the principal owner of the NBA’s Philadelphia 76ers and NHL’s New Jersey Devils, paid $6.05 billion to buy the franchise for which he grew up cheering in Chevy Chase, Md.

“I feel an awesome responsibility to the city of Washington,” Harris said on Thursday. “I know what I’ve got to do. It comes down to winning. It’s on me and on our ownership group to deliver. That’s what we’re going to do.”

Major changes to the organization expected in the first year include reconsidering the name and addressing dilapidated FedEx Field.

Harris is a general partner of Crystal Palace F.C. in the English Premier League and a minority shareholder in Joe Gibbs Racing. Johnson is a part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers, MLS’ Los Angeles FC and the WNBA’s Los Angeles Sparks.

Johnson broke down and was overcome by emotion when he discussed Friday morning in an interview on “Today” the significance of being able to sit in the owner’s box at games in Washington.

“I’m going to excel not only for myself and my family, but for all African Americans, making sure we can see ourselves in these seats,” Johnson said.

–Field Level Media

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