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Internet sleuths think they figured out the Washington Football Team's new name

Washington Football Team helmets are seen on the ground before the start of training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Football Team training center park in July 2021 in Richmond, Va.
Kevin Dietsch
Getty Images
Washington Football Team helmets are seen on the ground before the start of training camp at the Bon Secours Washington Football Team training center park in July 2021 in Richmond, Va.

The Washington Football Team is set to make an official announcement on its new team namein less than a week. However, some internet sleuths may have discovered the team's new name a bit earlier than expected.

According to Sporting News, a Twitter user noticed that the Commanders.com domain had been transferred to California-based MarkMonitor — the company the NFL uses to control most of its domain names for its teams and brands.

Sporting News reports that all but six NFL teams list their team websites on Mark Monitor — the Washington Football Team uses GoDaddy, while the Dallas Cowboys, New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Las Vegas Raiders and Houston Texans all use Network Solutions.

As of Thursday, neither the NFL nor Washington Football Team have reacted to the reports or confirmed or denied whether the team will be named the Commanders.

"There's two reasons you acquire a name. One is you acquire it for pure speculation, and you hold onto it. And two is you acquire it because you want to use it," technology expert Shawn DuBravac told TV station Fox 5 DC. "And typically when you acquire it and you want to use it, you're going to move it to where you're going to deploy it,"

DuBravac said that based on publicly available data, whoever owns the Commanders.com domain is about to do something with it — fueling speculation that it could be the new name for Washington's NFL team.

"The fact that Mark Monitor has large corporate clients, it's most likely a large organization that's using this," DuBravac said.

"It isn't somebody who's just speculating in the name, but likely a corporation that plans to use it. It also happens that Mark Monitor has a deep relationship with the NFL and many of the teams," he added.

After years of criticism, the Washington team dropped a name that was commonly used to slur Native Americans in July 2020.

Last August, the team banned fans from wearing "Native American-inspired" dresses inside its home stadium, including headdresses and face paint. The new guideline was announced in a stadium policy and protocol update ahead of the 2021 NFL season.

News of the team's new name and branding comes an investigation into workplace misconduct within the organization. The investigation, promoted by a series of reports from The Washington Post in 2020, looked into the alleged sexual harassment experienced by female team employees and mistreatment of the team's cheerleaders.

Following the investigation, the NFL fined the Football Team $10 million.

The day after the team announces its new name, the House Oversight Committee will hold a roundtable with several former team employees to discuss "issues of workplace misconduct and the National Football League's (NFL) failure to take steps to prevent sexual harassment and verbal abuse within the WFT under the leadership of owner Dan Snyder."

The committee says the roundtable is intended to inform "potential legislative solutions" to protect workers from harassment and discrimination.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Jonathan Franklin is a digital reporter on the News desk covering general assignment and breaking national news.