Commanders’ Ron Rivera on Washington name change: ‘We’re turning a new page’

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Commanders’ Ron Rivera on Washington name change: ‘We’re turning a new page’

The Washington Commanders unveiled their new name on Wednesday and head coach Ron Rivera believes it's a positive change that will help the team an

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The Washington Commanders unveiled their new name on Wednesday and head coach Ron Rivera believes it’s a positive change that will help the team and organization “develop a sustainable, winning culture.” 

Rivera complimented the name during an appearance on CBS Mornings, explaining that the new brand represents a separation from the past while still honoring the legacy of the team. 

WASHINGTON FOOTBALL TEAM REVEALS COMMANDERS AS NEW NAME

“Really excited about the fact that we are really starting a new chapter,” he said. “We’re turning a new page. We’re going forward. We’re trying to step away from all the things that have happened in the past but we also, at the same time, want to make sure we honor – we honor what has happened with this football team in terms of the world championships and Super Bowls that they’ve won.”

A detailed view of the new Washington Commanders uniforms following the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders on Feb. 2, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. 

A detailed view of the new Washington Commanders uniforms following the announcement of the Washington Football Team’s name change to the Washington Commanders on Feb. 2, 2022 in Landover, Maryland. 
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

Washington retired its previous name 18 months ago over mounting pressure that the name and logo – established in the 1930s – had racist connotations. The organization opted to use the name Washington Football Team as a temporary placeholder, although the name was considered as a potential option at one point during the process. 

“We’re trying to be inclusive. We’re trying to involve everybody. This is not just about a certain group of people. This is about everybody,” Rivera continued. 

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“We talk about trying to develop a sustainable,  inning culture and you have to do that by doing what’s right and doing things that need to be done, changing the things that need to be changed. In this world, that’s important. We’ve gotta adapt and keep moving forward and not really be judged on what happened in the past but really what we’re doing now and what we’re going to do in the future.” 

Former player Joe Theismann speaks during the announcement of the Washington Football Team's name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on Feb. 2, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.

Former player Joe Theismann speaks during the announcement of the Washington Football Team’s name change to the Washington Commanders at FedExField on Feb. 2, 2022 in Landover, Maryland.
(Rob Carr/Getty Images)

After suffering four straight losses earlier in the season, Rivera told reporters during a conference call that changing the culture of the team wouldn’t happen “overnight.” 

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“The truth of the matter is, it gets darkest before it gets brightest,” he said at the time, via WDVM. “We are going to have to go through this. It takes three to five years to completely change a culture. Futility doesn’t just disappear overnight, and to create a positive environment, it takes time. It’s not going to happen overnight.”

Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Football Team looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of the preseason game at FedExField on Aug. 28, 2021 in Landover, Maryland.

Head coach Ron Rivera of the Washington Football Team looks on against the Baltimore Ravens during the second half of the preseason game at FedExField on Aug. 28, 2021 in Landover, Maryland.
(Scott Taetsch/Getty Images))

While he was speaking about the locker room dynamics, Rivera’s message seems to have a broader meaning within Washington.

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