'Is that real': LeBron James mocks NFL team's 'racist' name change

Sam Goodwin
·Sports Editor
·4-min read
LeBron James, pictured here in action for the Los Angeles Lakers.
LeBron James has mocked the Washington Football Team's new name. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

LeBron James has led the mockery of the NFL team formerly known as the Washington Redskins after they changed their name to the Washington Football Team.

On Thursday the team announced they will use Washington Football Team as an interim name for the 2020 NFL season, dropping the team's logo as well.

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The team made the announcement in the wake of growing US social movements against racist symbols and monuments, the name team owner Dan Snyder once vowed never to change before being retired before the start of the 2020 campaign.

Going with a temporary name will allow more time to make a choice about a longer-lasting nickname moving forward after dropping Redskins, which had been used since 1933.

“The decision to use 'Washington Football Team' for this season allows the franchise the ability to undertake an in-depth branding process to properly include player, alumni, fan, community, and sponsor input,” the team said in a statement.

“To date, we have been pleased to see so many people putting forward their vision of what the new name and design should be on their social media channels and we look forward to including their feedback as this process progresses.”

LeBron James leads mockery of new name

However the new name was instantly mocked on social media, with NBA superstar James getting in on the fun.

“Just waking back up from my pregame nap to see about The Washington Football team???” he tweeted.

“Is that real?? No way! Oh man they had a thorough intense long board meeting about that one huh.”

Snyder first announced in early July, after financial pressure from sponsors and partners, that the team would undergo a “thorough review” of its name.

Others from around the sporting world also felt the new name fell a bit flat.

Dez Bryant, who is still a free agent in the NFL, isn’t a fan of the name and even went so far as to say he’s now worried a football season isn’t to be this year.

Washington embark on replacing Redskins name

The team website's new banner, set to be displayed in stadium end zones this season, was Washington football team, established 1932, with the normal burgundy and gold colours remaining.

The profile face of a Native American as the team logo was reduced in size and placement as a first step toward being removed.

“The Redskins name and logo will officially be retired by the start of the 2020 season,” the team said.

“In addition, we are rolling out an aesthetic that reflects the direction of the franchise as we progress toward a new name and design scheme.”

A Washington Redskins helmet, pictured here on the field before a game in 2019.
A Washington Redskins helmet is seen on the field before a game in 2019. (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The team plans a 50-day operation to remove all Redskins-branded imaging from all team facilities with plans to be done before the team's September 13 home opener against Philadelphia.

The Redskins logo used on player helmets will be replaced by the number of each particular player while “Washington” will replace “Redskins” on the stitching below the neck opening on the front of the jersey.

The club was founded as the Boston Braves in 1932, became the Redskins the following year and moved to Washington for the 1937 NFL season.

The team announced 10 days ago that it would drop the nickname and logo after 87 years, a move that came 10 days after vowing a thorough review of the team's name.

with agencies