Edmonton Eskimos under new pressure to change name and fans have some suggestions
The Edmonton Eskimos are reviewing their racist team name after one of their biggest sponsors threatened to cut ties unless they change it.
Belairdirect car and home insurance company issued a statement declaring their belief that the team's name is no longer appropriate.
"One of our core values is respect, which is founded on seeing diversity as a strength, being inclusive and collaborative," said the company, speaking to CBC News.
"Guided by this value, in order for us to move forward and continue on with our partnership, we will need to see concrete action in the near future including a commitment to a name change."
In response, the Edmonton Eskimos announced it will seek further input from Inuit people, its partners and other stakeholders regarding a decision on its name.
In a statement released on Wednesday, July 8, they added: "We’ll continue to listen carefully and with an open mind. We intend to complete our review as quickly as possible and will provide an update on these discussions by the end of this month.”
The Eskies have been operating with a problematic name for over 70 years, as “Eskimo” is widely considered a racist slur to describe Inuit people.
Many sports fans have been taking to Twitter to suggest alternative titles for the team.
Edmonton Empire Doesn't sound right. I like what others have suggested as the Edmonton Clippers, Elks or I like the idea of Edmonton Eclipse.— Darth Hades (@darth_hades4L) July 8, 2020
One person advised that the name should be inspired by Edmonton's harsh winter weather — something that would scare any opposing team away!
"Lose the alliteration completely and go with Edmonton Winter. Nobody wants to face the Edmonton Winter. Also, helmets would say “EW” which describes the quality of play for several years," said one person on Twitter.
The Edmonton Empire has also been a popular suggestion, and probably the most likely one to be chosen right now.
I do like Edmonton Express a lot! Rider fans like to call us the Evil Empire so the Edmonton Empire might be another good alternative name— Terry (@terryvaughan21) July 8, 2020
Some people are already thinking about what future sports headlines might look like for the Empire.
Bet people can't wait for Edmonton to lose a game and then win against the same team for sports commentators to rush to write 'The Edmonton Empire Strikes Back' with hopes they'll be the first to publicly express it.— Susie (@QueenoftheTwits) July 8, 2020
But not everyone thinks that it's a good idea.
Don't like Edmonton Empire too imperialistic. How about Edmonton Ice Scrapers?— Ian Phillips (@cactusjoe333) July 8, 2020
In fact, some fans think it might even be worse than the team's current title.
"Edmonton Empire" is ridiculous... it may as well be Edmonton Ego or Edmonton Egregious. How about shaking up Alberta's conservative orthodoxy with something like Edmonton Evolution or Edmonton Eggmen. #CFL— docleslie (@docleslie) July 8, 2020
Frozen treat brand Eskimo Pie has vowed to do the same, recognizing how outdated and offensive the term is for northern Indigenous peoples.
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