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EA Sports dropping Washington team name from upcoming 'Madden NFL 21'

Jack Baer
·Writer
·3-min read

With the Washington Redskins officially announcing the retirement of their long-criticized name, developers at EA Sports are already working to scrub the name and logo from their upcoming “Madden NFL 21,” a representative confirmed to Yahoo Sports on Friday.

The news was initially reported by Kotaku’s Stephen Totilo.

Washington owner Dan Snyder still hasn’t announced what name will replace the old one, so Madden players can reportedly expect a generic Washington team as an initial replacement.

In a statement, EA welcomed the name change coming in Washington:

“We are pleased to see Washington’s decision to change their team name and visual identity. We are quickly working to update Madden NFL 21 to feature a generic Washington team, while we await final word on the updated team name and logo design.”

Because the game is so close its Aug. 25 release date, versions of “Madden NFL 21” acquired via disc will still contain the name when first installed. However, an automatic patch will remove the name and logo when the game is connected to the internet.

EA also cautioned it may take some time to completely remove all mentions of Washington’s old name:

“Changes to the name and logo will come via title updates that will download automatically. The first changes will be available to our EA Access players and will include audio/commentary updates; motion graphics and presentation updates; stadium art, environments, crowd gear and signage updates; and uniform updates. Players may continue to see some outdated Washington references in other areas of the game at launch, but we are committed to removing all of those from the game in additional title updates coming shortly after launch.

Players who purchase a physical disc will need to connect online to receive the Washington team changes, as the game is now in the final stages of preparation before shipping.”

Usually, a name change for an NFL team would come much earlier in the offseason after extensive planning and wouldn’t require such hasty changes, but the circumstances Washington’s name change has followed a different path.

Talk of a name change finally seemed to reach the decision-makers in Washington after several of the team’s biggest financial partners made clear they wanted to see a name change. That included Nike, Pepsi and FedEx, the last of which paid $205 million for the naming rights to Washington’s FedEx Field. Major online retailers — including Amazon, Walmart, Target, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Nike’s own store — have also dropped all Washington merchandise. Politicians in D.C. also implied that any move back to the district for the team would be contingent on a name change.

After that flurry of lobbying in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, Snyder announced the team was looking into a name change earlier this month and made it official on Monday that a name change was coming. No new name has been announced because the team is currently trying to settle a trademark dispute, as well as other major problems within its walls.

LANDOVER, MD - NOVEMBER 18:  A general view of FedEx Field in Landover, MD. on November 18, 2018 during the game between the Houston Texans and the Washington Redskins. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)
A new name is coming to D.C. (Photo by Mark Goldman/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

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