washington commanders racist name change

The Washington Commanders Football Team and 6 Other Brands Whose Racist Names Got the Ax

Here's a quick snapshot of many of the other offensive brand and team names that have come under fire in recent years.

This article was updated on Feb. 2, 2022, at 2:26 p.m. ET.

Good-bye, Washington Football Team. Hello, Washington Commanders! On Wednesday the NFL team based in the nation's capital revealed its new name and branding, the Washington Commanders, after an 18-month search.

Back in July 2020, the franchise, which will keep its burgundy and gold colors, announced it was dropping its name because it was offensive to Native Americans. While looking for a new name, team officials sought feedback from Native American and indigenous communities, they said. A new mascot and fight song have yet to be chosen.

The Washington football team is hardly alone in its rebrand due to racist themes in its name and logo. Here's a quick snapshot of other offensive brand names that have come under fire in recent years.

Aunt Jemima

Company: Quaker Oats, a subsidiary of PepsiCo,

Quaker Oats announced in June 2020 that it would drop Aunt Jemima from syrup and pancake packages, responding to criticism that the character's origins were based on the “mammy,” a Black woman portrayed as content to serve her white masters. In February the following year, the company announced the brand would become Pearl Milling Co., the creator of the famous self-rising pancake mix.

The Washington Football Team

After decades of controversy, Washington's NFL team announced in 2020 that it would change its name, long condemned as an anti-Indigenous slur. After several public declarations by team owner Dan Snyder that the name would never change, the move finally came amid growing pressure from sponsors.

On Wednesday, the team announced the new name on NBC's Today show: the Washington Commanders.

Land O'Lakes

Company: Land O' Lakes, Inc.

Land O’Lakes, announced plans in April 2020 to drop Mia, the Native American woman on its packaging, after being on the company’s boxes for nearly 100 years.

The company said at the time they “recognized” they “need packaging that reflects the foundation and heart of our company culture” but did not acknowledge the controversy surrounding the logo. Some of the new packaging features photos of real farmers.

Eskimo Pies

Company: Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream

Eskimo Pie, a nearly century-old chocolate-covered ice cream bar, changed its name to Edy's pie in October 2020, three months after ceasing production.

“We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory," said Elizabell Marquez, head of marketing for its parent Dreyer's Grand Ice Cream, in a statement. “This move is part of a larger review to ensure our company and brands reflect our people values.”

Mrs. Butterworth

Company: Congra Brands

Critics have long claimed the Mrs. Butterworth bottle design was rooted in the “mammy” stereotype. Back in June 2020, Chicago-based Conagra Brands said its bottles are intended to evoke a “loving grandmother.” But the company said it can understand that the packaging could be misinterpreted.

“We understand that our actions help play an important role in eliminating racial bias and as a result, we have begun a complete brand and packaging review on Mrs. Butterworth’s,” Conagra said in a statement.

Darlie Brand Toothpaste

Company: Colgate-Palmolive

Colgate-Palmolive Co. said in June 2020 it was working with its Chinese partner, Hawley & Hazel Chemical Co., on changes to its Darlie brand toothpaste.

The toothpaste, which is popular in Asia, was called Darkie when it was first introduced in the 1930s. Packages featured a drawing of a minstrel singer in blackface with a wide smile. The Chinese name on the box translated to “black man toothpaste.”

Cream of Wheat

Company: B&G Foods Inc.

B&G Foods Inc., which makes Cream of Wheat hot cereal, said in September 2020 it would no longer use the image of a smiling Black chef holding a bowl of cereal, which has appeared on Cream of Wheat packaging and in ads since at least 1918, according to the company’s web site.

“For years, the image of an African-American chef appeared on our Cream of Wheat packaging. While research indicates the image may be based upon an actual Chicago chef named Frank White, it reminds some consumers of earlier depictions they find offensive,” B&G Foods said in a statement.