Following the lead of the Washington NFL team, the Edmonton Eskimos will undergo a name change. The decision came after a widespread public debate and after some team sponsors expressed their discomfort with nickname.
Board chair Janice Agrios said in a statement. “We feel it is important to make this change in response to the findings of our recent engagement and research. Going forward, we want the focus to be on the work we do in the community and our team’s excellence on the field as the CFL’s most successful franchise.”
The statement adds that the club will “undertake a comprehensive engagement process” to find a new name which will include “research and engagement with season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers and partners.”
The spotlight has been on Edmonton’s team name in the past. In 2015, days before the club defeated the Ottawa Redblacks to win its most recent Grey Cup, Natan Obed, the president of Canada’s national Inuit organization, the Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, made headlines when he called for the name to be changed. “It isn’t right for any team to be named after an ethnic group,” Obed said, according to The Edmonton Sun. “This is part of the past. It isn’t part of the present and shouldn’t be part of the future.”