Edmonton's CFL team has been using the derogatory term "*skimo" in their name since 1949. After decades of Indigenous activists calling for the name to change, the team announced today via Twitter that effective immediately, they will be known as the Edmonton Football Team (or the EE Football Team, which is stupid because the initials still refer to the slur that they've removed but anyway) until they are able to come up with a new name.
In 2019, Edmonton Football Team's spokesman Allan Watt said "If we’re going to pride ourselves on being one of Canada’s most northern professional sports teams, in the Oilers and the *skimos, we need to act that way. And so we’re going back again for the Sunrise Festival,” said club spokesman Allan Watt, who was part of the initial liaison along with Rhodes, and has carried through in that capacity over the years. “And also recognizing that the second largest Inuit population outside of the North lives in Edmonton." Four years ago, they started a dialogue with fans and Inuit to determine how to proceed. One of the team members visited Northern communities like Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk in the Northwest Territories as part of the steps toward reparing the team's relationship with Inuit and First Nations people.
"People who defended the name only a year ago are less comfortable with it now," board chair Janice Agrios said at a news conference.
"Institutions are being renamed around the world. The change to our name is part of a sweeping societal change."
The team's current name has been criticized as insensitive or even racist and Agrios said the team's most recent opinion research showed that views about the name are shifting quickly. "No one event sparked the decision. We've had open conversations with partners, community and fans about this issue for several years now. We're proud of the engagement that we've done." According to Agrios, recent threats by sponsors to withdraw sponsorship if the team did not change its name played a secondary role in the decision.
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