The CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos are changing their name according to TSN's Ryan Rishaug. A formal announcement could come as soon as next week.
Professional sports team names has been a hot topic of debate since racial unrest swept through North America in the wake of the death of George Floyd.
Many political and corporate interests have been threatening boycotts of teams over names like the soon-to-be-changed Redskins.
The Eskimos recently announced that an internal review and consultation with elders led to a decision to keep the name. However, since releasing their decision, the team has received more public backlash and threats from corporate sponsors.
On July 3, Janice Agrios, chairwoman of the team's board of directors, said “We began our research and engagement program three years ago because we believed that it was of utmost importance to have input from the Inuit regarding our name.”
“The research revealed that 78 percent of the western Arctic Inuit oppose the team changing [it]. In Nunavut, where we are still working on building our relationships, 55 percent of Inuit oppose a change. … In the eastern Arctic, where the results identified little connection to the team, 31 percent of Inuit oppose a name change.”
However, on July 7, Belairdirect, one of the team's major sponsors said that they would drop the team if they kept the name.
“We will be seeking further input from the Inuit, our partners and other stakeholders to inform our decisions moving forward. 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 team said during a statement.