Washington Football Team bans headdresses, face paint in new stadium policy

ASHBURN, Va. — Native American-inspired headdresses and face paint will no longer be allowed at FedEx Field when the Washington Football Team plays its games, the team announced Wednesday.

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The stadium protocols also recommend that fans wear face coverings, WTOP reported.

The team announced this spring that it intends to be at full capacity for games during the 2021 season, The Washington Post reported. Last season’s home games were played either before few fans or an empty stadium because of the coronavirus pandemic, the newspaper reported.

The last time FedEx Field was at full capacity, the team had a different name that was deemed offensive to Native Americans. Friday night, the team will hold a practice at the stadium with approximately 20,000 fans expected to attend, ESPN reported.

That will be the biggest crowd to watch a game in the stadium since the team announced in July 2020 that it was dropping the name it had been known by since the franchise moved to Washington in 1937.

The team is expected to have a permanent nickname in place by 2022, team president Jason Wright said. Wright said the organization does not want to announce the new name until they have decided on a logo and have completed the trademark process, ESPN reported.

“We recognize that not everyone is in favor of this change,” Wright told the Post in July. “And even the Native American community offers a range of opinions about both our past and path forward. But in these moments, it is important to prioritize the views of those who have been hurt by our historical use of Native American language, iconography and imagery.

“We will choose an identity that unequivocally departs from any use of or approximate linkage to Native American imagery.”

Wright said the team would not use the nickname Warriors, ESPN reported. Team owner Daniel Snyder had applied to trademark the name in 2007 when he attempted to secure an Arena League franchise in Washington.

In other stadium news, FedEx Field has set up cashless payments throughout the stadium, WTOP reported. For the first time since the 2020 season, tailgating will be permitted again at the stadium, the radio station reported.

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