Navajo Nation president: Washington team should be named Code Talkers

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The Washington Code Talkers is what one Native American leader wants to see the NFL team in the nation’s capital called.

Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez released a statement calling for the team, which officially announced it is retiring its old name today, to be named for the code talkers who used Native American languages to deliver encrypted messages for the U.S. military during World War II.

“We strongly encourage the NFL Washington organization to rename their team in such a way that truly honors and respects the First Americans of this country,” the statement published by Navajo Nation’s president and vice president said. “Renaming the team ‘Code Talkers’ to honor the Navajo Code Talkers, and other tribal nations who used their sacred language to help win World War II, would set the team on a path to restoring its reputation and correcting the historical misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples.”

Although the team’s old name is being retired, there is no word on what the new name will be.

34 responses to “Navajo Nation president: Washington team should be named Code Talkers

  1. Washington Wind Talkers would be a good one. The name refers to a movie about the Navajo WWII comm soldiers…

  2. Better to just break away from the Native community altogether.

    The goalposts will continue to move. In 10-20 years, it will be considered offensive.

  3. If the name must be changed, pick some nondescript name that doesn’t reference any group that will whine later! Pick a color!

  4. No, sorry that’s no good. Has to be some random animal name not already in the NFL. Tigers, Sharks, Snakes, Cougars, Killer Whales. Safe, safe, safe! Boring but safe.

  5. Would they still be able to use the same logo then? Would certainly be an interesting switch if they could.

  6. Sorry, special interest groups don’t get a say on what a privately-owned team is called.

  7. Love it. Proud Navajo Nation with an honored story past, just love it. Think its great.

  8. Since the code talkers were Navajo speakers, such a name would elevate importance of one group of Native Americans over others who contributed during the war. Unless the new name is Native Americans, probably best just to get away from this path altogether.

  9. I’m curious if they’ll ban entry to fans wearing jerseys/shirts bearing the current name.

  10. A reasonable suggestion, but at this point getting away entirely from any association with a group of people is best.

    Find a generic name that fits with the team colors and go with that. Maybe they could make “Cobras” work. That would make a great logo.

  11. Senators still makes the most sense. And it fits the way the Skins have been playing for so many years. All talk and nothing but futility on the field.

  12. I mean Code Talkers isn’t bad, it just doesn’t sound like the name of a football team. I’m assuming if they stick with a native American theme, people will still be offended and they’d have to change the name again in 20 years.

  13. Oh hell no! Navajo leaders think it’s fine and dandy today, but in 30 years? Not worth the risk. The team needs to completely divorce itself from future controversy.

    Let’s not forget that the name “redskins” came from what Native Americans called themselves at one point. Today’s acceptable language is verboten tomorrow.

  14. Terrible.

    If they don’t like Redskins, fine. But you don’t get to have a say in the new name.

    Just move away from anything Native American related.

  15. I think the name should be the Washington Politicians. The current team hasn’t lived up to the paying fan’s expectations for quite some time, just like their namesake if they select my choice.

  16. How about the Washington De-Cleaters?
    Avoids any semantic objections and is a great football term to say nothing of the Washington D.C. connect.

  17. During WW1 the Cherokee and Choctaw did code talking.

    During WW2 (Europe and Pacific) there were other code talking tribes as well like the Mohawk and Lakota.

    But that might not be a good sports team name.

  18. Given the current situation and the situation surrounding with virtually all teams with mascots based around Native imagery, it’s not gonna happen.

  19. Becuase there are no other nations besides the Navajo? Yeah right. WW- Washington Warriors is the best name. It honors all tribes and military members at the same time.

  20. Mohicans? Phoenicians? Spartans? Trojans? Whatever it is, there is a problem with the trademark, so Danny will have to buy it or take another name. I’m guessing Redtails, since the trademark is an issue. Then again, Redtail Hawks? FoggyBottom Hogs? Barracudas? The possibilities are endless.

  21. The name code talkers is something that is sacred to many folks, there were 33 different tribes who were code talkers in WWII, not just the Navajo. Hopi’s for instance were used in the European Theater before the Navajo came in the Pacific Theater and Choctaw and Lakota in WWI. I see nothing wrong with our redskin heritage and I am proud of it. We have helped to build this great nation and everyone it too busy trying to tear it down. When are you going to start attacking Cheif Seattle, he owned slaves and we named a city ofter him. Disgusted in Washington. Maxwell Hoffmann

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