edmonton eskimos

Renewed calls for Edmonton Eskimos to change their name after homophobic incident

After a recent incident in which a player was let go due to hate speech against the LGBTQ2+ community, the Edmonton Eskimos are getting called out for the upteenth time for their racist name.

The CFL team cut ties with wide receiver Christion Jones this weekend after he tweeted that "man ain't suppose [sic] to be with a man. A women [sic] is not suppose to be with another women" on Saturday, the day of Global Pride 2020.

The backlash against the 27-year-old Alabama native was intense enough for the team to release a statement on Sunday, saying"We stand by the LGBTQ2+ community and firmly condemn the language used by  Christion Jones."

"There is no place for such commentary on our team. Jones has been released from the roster."

Though many citizens feel the Eskies made the right move in this situation, they're finding it a bit ironic that the team is taking a public stand against homophobia and hate speech when they've been operating with a problematic name for more than 70 years.

"Wait, wait, there's a sports team called Edmonton Eskimos? Were Inuit even allowed to play for them when they coined that name?" one Twitter user aptly asked on Sunday.

"Canadians have not used the racist term 'Eskimo' for decades. Northern Indigenous peoples are 'Inuit.' Alberta still has the 'Edmonton Eskimos' sports team though. But that's Alberts. They still have dinosaurs" another said.

And yet another simply wrote "Your team name is a literal slur. Take the log out of your own eye."

Amid renewed protests against systemic racism in the wake of the deaths of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and others, brands such as Aunt Jemima and Uncle Ben's have decided to undergo makeovers to do away with the use of Black stereotypes in their branding.

Frozen treat brand Eskimo Pie has vowed to do the same, recognizing how outdated and offensive the term for northern Indigenous peoples is.

"We are committed to being a part of the solution on racial equality, and recognize the term is derogatory," the 99-year-old company told CNN earlier this month.

Still, some continue to support the Edmonton Eskimos' use of the term because some Inuit residents apparently don't have a problem with it.

The team also spent months consulting with Arctic communities in 2019 and eventually came to the conclusion that its name was not harmful enough to warrant a change (though its social media handles notably shorten the "Eskimos" to "Esks," perhaps acknowledging that there is an inherent issue with the word.)

This is despite the fact that it was Inuit leaders such as Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami President Nathan Obed have been taking issue with the name and trying to get it amended for years — as has been the case with the abundance of other professional sports teams that use Indigenous names or mascots, like the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks and Washington Redskins.

With all of the tumult and change that 2020 has brought thus far (and with fans ready to boycott), we'll have to wait and see whether the Eskimos and other teams or brands end up revamping their image to be more politically correct.

Lead photo by

@EdmontonEsks


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