While Edmonton’s CFL team still hasn’t yet landed on a new name to call themselves, it seems that most Canadians are for the name change, regardless.
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The Edmonton Football Team — as they’re calling themselves for the time being — announced on July 21 that they would be discontinuing the word “Eskimo” from the team name, following in the footsteps of the NFL’s Washington Redskins.
— EE Football Team (@EdmFootballTeam) July 21, 2020
“Recent findings demonstrate that views regarding the team name are shifting. While many fans are deeply committed to keeping the name, others are increasingly uncomfortable with the moniker,” said the team in July a press release.
“The long-term viability of the club requires everyone to get behind this change and continue to support the team, especially during these challenging financial times. We are grateful for the backing of our partners and know that we can count on them to support us in making this difficult decision and helping us through the change.”
According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, the term Eskimo “is an offensive term that has been used historically to describe the Inuit throughout their homeland.”
The Angus Reid Institute found that, while most Canadian respondents seemed to agree with this description and the word’s racist connotations, a few demographics still considered the name change to be the wrong decision.
Albertans and Saskatchewanians were the only two provinces not in favour, and, of those surveyed Canadians who consider themselves to be CFL fans, 55% disagreed with the decision.
When looking at age and gender, the only demographic that saw a majority of respondents in the same camp were men aged 55+, with 57% against the decision, though men aged 35 to 54 came a close second with just 51% for the name change and 49% against it.
The anti-name-change sentiment was also seen in more of those who hold an education of high school or less, as well as Conservative Party of Canada voters.
The team noted in July that they planned to keep the Double E logo, meaning that whatever name they chose to replace their old one would have to start with an E.
Canadian respondents as a whole leaned most strongly towards the Edmonton Eagles, while Albertans were more in favour of the Edmonton Energy.
The team is undertaking a comprehensive engagement process on a new name, including research and engagement with season seat holders, casual ticket purchasers, and partners, though a timeline for when the new name will be announced has not yet been provided.
With files from Rumneek Johal.