Edmonton CFL franchise confirms team will change name
Edmonton's CFL franchise confirmed they will change their team nickname.
The team made the announcement Tuesday, saying they will discontinue use of the name Eskimos and be known as the Edmonton Football Team or EE Football Team while they go through the process of determining a new name.
Edmonton's decision follows a team announcement that a review of the nickname was ongoing and comes on the heels of the Washington National Football League franchise ceasing the use of its nickname, one derogatory towards Indigenous people.
“Our team has a long history of winning – both on and off the field - and we will continue to do so going forward,” said Janice Agrios, Chair of the Board of Directors. “We feel it is important to make this change in response to the findings of our recent engagement and research. Going forward, we want the focus to be on the work we do in the community and our team’s excellence on the field as the CFL’s most successful franchise.”
A number of league and team sponsors expressed a desire to see a name change leading up to Edmonton’s decision.
On July 7, insurance company Belairdirect, which also sponsors Commonwealth Stadiums 50/50 draw, said it would drop its sponsorship should a name change not occur.
"At Belairdirect one of our core values is respect, which is founded on seeing diversity as a strength, being inclusive and collaborative," the company said in a statement. "In order for us to move forward and continue on with our partnership with the Edmonton Eskimos, we will need to see concrete action in the near future including a name change. We have shared our position with the team."
The current incarnation of the franchise had held the nickname since its inception in 1949.