Commanders name debate heats up as 69,000 fans sign petition for historic return

It’s no secret, a lot of Washington Commanders fans aren’t exactly in love with the new team name.

"I mean, it just doesn’t make any sense," said Marlon Wood.

But while some fans are hoping for yet another new name altogether, thousands of others are asking a different question: Would the new owners of the Washington Commanders ever go back to the historic, yet controversial, old team name?

As of Tuesday evening, a petition asking for just that had gathered more than 69,000 signatures, with the petition stating in part, "We believe that restoring the original name … is the right decision for the team, its loyal fan base, and the legacy it represents."

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 24: A Washington Redskins fan holds up a sign in the first half against the Detroit Lions at FedExField on November 24, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

The team, though, isn’t so sure.

FOX 5 reached out for comment Tuesday, noting that members of the new Commanders ownership group – including Josh Harris and Magic Johnson – have used the old team name multiple times in interviews since purchasing the team.

In response, a Commanders spokesperson sent a statement, saying: "For nearly 90 years, this franchise had a different name, and fans and our new owners alike have fond memories of cheering for that team and watching it win three Super Bowls. Making a historical reference to watching and rooting for the [team] does not signify a shift nor does it change the reasons for dropping the name."

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 24: A general view o the stadium as a Washington Redskins HTTR flag is waived in the end zone during the second half of the game against the Detroit Lions at FedExField on November 24, 2019 in Landover, Maryland. (Photo by Sco

At a grocery store near FedEx Field Tuesday evening, some fans agreed.

"I just feel it’s offensive," Frank Rogers said of the old name.

Others, however, said they’d support bringing the old name back.

"I’ve always known them as the Washington, y'all know the rest," laughed Nadine Branch. "So yes, I would look forward to that."