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Superfans call name change a huge mistake for Washington's football team

The franchise announced Monday in an email that it had officially retired the team name, which has been used since 1933. No new name has been chosen.

WASHINGTON — While the tide has turned in the executive suite of Washington's football team in favor of a name change, there is a significant part of the fan base that still believes it is a huge mistake.

The franchise announced Monday morning that it had officially retired the controversial "Redskins" name, which has been used since 1933.

Self-described 'superfan' Ray Smith, who blogs about the team as @SonofWashington, said the handling of the decision so far has been a "colossal error."

“Forget the argument whether it should happen," Smith said. "The way it's happening today effectively by text message, it's like breaking up with somebody by text. Dan Snyder has not gotten on camera and addressed anybody. The fans deserve better.”

Smith dressed like Joe Theismann as a kid and wrapped his baby daughter in a jersey when she was brought home from the hospital after her birth.

RELATED: Washington Redskins to retire team name

He said the NFL team has been a focus of his family for generations.

"For me, I feel like we’re hitting the delete button on a huge part of not just my childhood but my life," Smith said. 

Smith’s message to owner Dan Snyder is harsh.

“You are 100% losing us because of the product you have put on the field for so long, and because of situations like this that have been mishandled," he said. 

RELATED: VERIFY: Did a poll really show that 9/10 Native Americans were not offended by Washington's team name?

Credit: wusa9
DC Superfan Ray Smith as a child dressed as hero Redskin's quarterback Joe Theisman. Photo courtesy Ray Smith


Smith said he is not ready to say he is going to quit the team. But he said this moment in history will make it easier than ever for others like him to walk away.

“There’s not a person in their right mind that believes this team name is being changed right now out of concern for original Americans or native people," Smith said. "100% this is because sponsorships have backed you into a corner and you have no other choice. It makes you look bad. There’s no winning right now. If you were going to change it, you should have changed it two years ago when it was quiet.”

RELATED: Native American son of Redskins logo designer says it's not offensive, calls the change 'hard'

Credit: WUSA9
Three generations of Ray Smith's family support the Redskins. Photo courtesy Ray Smith


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