George Washington University is moving on from ‘Colonials’

George Washington University in the United States will soon choose a new nickname for its athletic teams, dropping ‘Colonials’ after years of pressure from students who said the name was entangled with violence toward Native Americans and other colonised people, writes April Rubin for The New York Times.

The campus community, in the heart of the nation’s capital, has narrowed a list of 10 replacement candidates to four finalists: ‘Ambassadors’, ‘Blue Fog’, ‘Revolutionaries’ and ‘Sentinels’. The university will hear feedback until 28 April throughout what it is calling ‘Moniker Madness’ and a new nickname will be announced by the end of the semester, said Ellen Moran, the university’s vice president for communications and marketing. The school’s mascot will remain George 1 – George Washington’s head, which a uniformed student wears.

The change comes amid a reckoning of the fraught history of team names across the American sports landscape. It comes after a push by students and a victory for Native American activists last year when the National Football League team in Washington became the Commanders, shedding a name that was a slur against Indigenous people.
Full report on The New York Times site