WASHINGTON (AP) — Don't expect a change-the-name movement for Washington's new Arena Football League team.
While there has been questions around the name of Dan Snyder's Redskins in the NFL, owners of the expansion AFL franchise went in a very different direction in calling the team the Washington Valor. Ted Leonsis and officials from his Monumental Sports & Entertainment organization unveiled the name, logo and colors on Thursday.
Leonsis said the name stands for what the franchise hopes to build when it begins play in the spring of 2017 and "holds a mirror up to the community and fan base."
"It calls out the best in all of us to be brave and strong and celebrate our country but also creates an identity locally," Leonsis said. "I think our community in D.C. and Maryland and Virginia will see a lot of themselves in the name and they'll be very, very proud of it."
The Valor, who will be the AFL's ninth team, have a "V'' logo that features the head of an eagle and three stars. Predictably red, white and blue are among the team's colors along with graphite, all of which managing partner Roger Mody said had significance.
Monumental also owns the NBA's Wizards, NHL's Capitals and WNBA's Mystics, which all have red, white and blue as their colors. The Valor will join them at Verizon Center in downtown Washington.
"Valor represents bravery and courage, and to be courageous one must be strong, committed and truthful," Mody said. "It was important that it represented the nation's capital, the vibrancy of the city and its sports teams."
Coach Dean Cokinos said his team, which still doesn't have any players, will be tough, physical and play fast. Monumental hired outside consultants to help come up with the name, which Leonsis said "feels absolutely right."
Commissioner Scott Butera said the ownership group was responsible for choosing the name, adding that the league approved it.
"They know the community better than we do, so it's important that we have a name that we think is going to be well-respected by the community, that represents that area, fits the demography of that area," Butera said. "The league would only step in if there was something that we felt was inappropriate or didn't represent the city well."
Recent AFL team names include the L.A. Kiss, owned by Gene Simmons, and the Portland Steel.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.