News & Politics

DC Stoddert Soccer Changes Name to DC Soccer Club

The team no longer wants to be associated with slave owner Benjamin Stoddert.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.

The latest DC institution to rebrand itself due to a problematic moniker is long-running youth-sports league DC Stoddert Soccer, which was named after the first Secretary of the Navy, Benjamin Stoddert. Like the blandly named Washington Football Team, Stoddert has opted for a designation that leaves no question as to what it is: DC Soccer Club.

The club’s original name was taken from the school at which it began. (The Glover Park elementary school is still known as Stoddert.) Although the soccer club has already shifted from its former Twitter and Instagram accounts in an effort to distance itself from the old identity, mention of the former name can still be found on its website.

The league explained the change in an email to its community members:

With the past year shining a pronounced light on racial injustice and inequality, Mayor Bowser’s District of Columbia Facilities and Commemorative Expressions (DCFACES) Working Group commission shed light on the racist background of Benjamin Stoddert, the namesake of the elementary school where the Club began. By changing our name, we seek to disassociate with this racist history, as his actions do not align with our Club’s values and commitment to soccer programming that supports diversity and inclusion.

Though change is not easy, we made this decision for important reasons. We encourage you to speak to your kids about racial injustice, inequity, and inequality.

DC Soccer Club is the latest entity to join the relabeling ranks after last summer’s national reckoning on racial justice. This week Alexandria City High School—formerly known as T.C. Williams High School—began removing signage that used the old name. In DC, mayor Muriel Bowser established the Office of Racial Equity to tackles issues of inequality, appointing the city’s first Chief Equity Officer in April to lead it.

 

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Daniella Byck
Assistant Editor

Daniella Byck joined Washingtonian in August 2018. She is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied journalism and digital culture.