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BC hockey team changes name from 'Braves' just in case it might be offensive

A hockey team on Vancouver Island will be changing their name and logo after the team's owners felt it may be disrespectful to Indigenous communities.
Quinn Patrick Montreal, QC

A hockey team on Vancouver Island will be changing their name and logo after the team's owners felt it may be disrespectful to Indigenous communities, according to CBC.

The Saanich Junior Braves have been playing since 1967 when they first joined the Vancouver Island Junior League however the owners of the team, Norm Kelly and Edward Geric released a statement saying that the team's name and logo are "not respectful to our First Nations and does not reflect the valued relationships we hold with local First Nations communities or with our First Nations players."

The decision to change the name was not brought on by a specific incident said Kelly, "I've never had anyone come up and say they were upset or disgusted," adding, "But we feel like we want to be leaders rather than followers."

Several sports teams have come under fire recently over their names and logos for being offensive and social pressures to change these names have intensified in the wake of mass protests about anti-racism happening across North America. Sports franchise sponsors also have been putting pressure on certain teams to make changes as well.

In the CFL, the Edmonton Eskimos are currently undergoing an internal review of the their name and a potential change after certain sponsors have called upon them to do so. The team will provide their final decision on the matter at the end of the month.

In the NFL, the Washington Redskins are facing the same problem as Nike, the leagues official outfitter has stopped carrying the team's merchandise and their sponsor, FedEx, is currently demanding that they change their name.

In the NHL, the Chicago Blackhawks said they will not change their name, nor will the MLB's Atlanta Braves but rather are working to better build their relationship with Native American communities.

"It's a large process. It's an expensive process. It would be more so for them," said Kelly, regarding changing a team's name at that level. Kelly said they haven't come up with a replacement name yet but for the interim period they will call the the team the Saanich Junior B team until a new selection is made.

Kelly is looking to the First Nations and Saanich community for their input on the new name and logo. "I think it will be good for our hockey team to start with a fresh set of goals and values."

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