Dan Quinn sports T-shirt incorporating portion of abandoned logo

When new ownership arrived in Washington, some wondered whether they would eventually dump the "Commanders" name and retreat to the abandoned one — especially when controlling owner Josh Harris used the former nickname multiple times while speaking to fans and limited partner Magic Johnson tweeted it.

After those casual references to the former name sparked a groundswell for its return, the team insisted that the invocation of the dictionary-defined slur did not represent a change in policy. Team president Jason Wright later said that a change back to the old name is not being considered.

Fast forward today. At his first rookie minicamp as coach of the Commanders, coach Dan Quinn wore a T-shirt with the exact same pair of feathers that was affixed to the abandoned logo.

With "Commanders" specifically not intended to be a name based on or referring to Native American culture, the use of the same feathers points to one thing and one thing only — the former nickname.

At a time when some municipalities are undoing the changes that were made in 2020 (two Virginia schools recently re-embracing the names of traitors against the United States), it's not a surprise that the Commanders would dip a seemingly nonchalant toe in the water about a return to the name that possibly wouldn't have been dumped but for the intense unpopularity of the team's former owner.

Regardless of where this leads, there are no accidents. This feels like a trial balloon, an intermediate step toward potentially bringing back the name and the logo. There's no other reason for the same feathers from the abandoned logo to be used than to see how people react to its presence.