Odell Willis of the then-Edmonton Eskimos hoists the Grey Cup during a fan rally for the Grey Cup champions, in Edmonton, Alta., on Tuesday December 1, 2015. The club has changed it’s name to the Elks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Odell Willis of the then-Edmonton Eskimos hoists the Grey Cup during a fan rally for the Grey Cup champions, in Edmonton, Alta., on Tuesday December 1, 2015. The club has changed it’s name to the Elks. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson.

Edmonton CFL franchise changes its team name to Elks

Team livestreams announcement after previously deciding to no longer be the ‘Eskimos’

The Edmonton CFL franchise has changed its team name to Elks.

The club made the announcement via livestream today.

Edmonton dropped its longtime name, Eskimos, last year following a similar decision by the NFL’s Washington team amid pressure on franchises to eliminate racist or stereotypical names.

It had been called the Edmonton Football Team up until today’s announcement but its logo continued to feature two Es.

Elks was one of seven potential name changes the Edmonton Football Team provided on its shortlist. The others included: Evergreens, Evergolds, Eclipse, Elkhounds, Eagles and Elements.

When the Edmonton Football Team announced last year it was discontinuing the Eskimos name, president Chris Presson said it was the franchise’s hope to keep its double-E logo and green and gold colours.

The decision came following a review by the franchise after it twice opted to maintain its team name.

The Eskimos moniker has been tied to sports teams in Edmonton since the 19th century, but critics say the name is derogatory and a colonial-era term for Inuit.

In February 2020, the franchise announced it was keeping the name after a year-long research period that involved Inuit leaders and community members across Canada.

Then on July 8, the club promised to speed up another review of its name and provide an update by month’s end. In that statement, the Edmonton franchise noted “a lot has happened” since the decision in February.

One of the team’s sponsors, national car-and-home insurance provider Belairdirect, had announced it was rethinking its relationship with the team because of the name.

Others added they’d would welcome a review of the name.

This all happened as NFL’s Washington team had said it would undergo a thorough review of its name.

A similar announcement was made by Major League Baseball’s Cleveland team, which is switching its name next year.

The Edmonton name change comes in time for the resumption of CFL play.

The league has tentatively scheduled starting a 14-game 2021 campaign Aug. 5 after not playing in 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

There had been repeated calls in the past for the Edmonton team to change its name. In 2015, Canada’s national Inuit organization had said it was time for a change.

Founded in 1949, the Edmonton team has won the Grey Cup 14 times, second only to the Toronto Argonauts at 17.

The community-owned club’s impressive history on the field includes a record five consecutive Grey Cups from 1978 to 1982.

Edmonton set a North American pro sports record by qualifying for the playoffs in 34 straight seasons from 1972 to 2005.

— The Canadian Press

Edmonton’s CFL team drops ‘Eskimos’ name, will begin search for new name

CFLFootball

Just Posted

A student arrives at school as teachers dressed in red participate in a solidarity march to raise awareness about cases of COVID-19 at Ecole Woodward Hill Elementary School, in Surrey, B.C., on Tuesday, February 23, 2021. A number of schools in the Fraser Health region, including Woodward Hill, have reported cases of the B.1.7.7 COVID-19 variant first detected in the U.K. (File photo: THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck)
COVID-19 cases at Surrey school district drop ‘dramatically’

There were 19 notifications sent out in the first 9 days of June, compared to in all of 245 in May

Surrey council chambers. (File photo)
Surrey council endorses ‘public engagement’ strategy

Council approves ‘Public Engagement Strategy and Toolkit,’ and a ‘Big Vision, Bold Moves’ transportation public engagement plan

Surrey City Hall. (File photo)
Surrey council approves $7.3 million contract for street paving projects

City council awarded Lafarge Canada Inc. $7,326,667.95 for 15 road projects in North Surrey and one in South Surrey

Surrey city Councillor Brenda Locke. (File photo)
Locke seeks breakdown on what Surreyites get for taxes paid to Metro Vancouver

Surrey councillor presented motion to council Monday asking city staff to do a cost/benefit analysis

TEASER PHOTO ONLY
SURREY NOW & THEN: Little Theatre’s 59-year history ends with big plans for move to Langley

A former church, the theatre building/property has sold for close to $900,000

People watch a car burn during a riot following game 7 of the NHL Stanley Cup final in downtown Vancouver, B.C., in this June 15, 2011 photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Geoff Howe
10 years ago: Where were you during the 2011 Vancouver Stanley Cup Riots?

Smashed-in storefronts, looting, garbage can fires and overturned cars some of the damage remembered today

Port Alberni court house (Alberni Valley News)
Inquest set into 2016 death of B.C. teen after a day spent in police custody

18-year-old Jocelyn George died of heart failure in hospital after spending time in jail cell

Children’s shoes and flowers are shown after being placed outside the Ontario legislature in Toronto on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Frank Gunn
Ontario commits $10 million to investigate burial sites at residential schools

Truth and Reconciliation Commission identified 12 locations of unmarked burial sites in Ontario

Singer-songwriter Jann Arden is pictured with a draft horse. (Canadian Horse Defence Coalition)
Jann Arden backs petition to stop ‘appalling’ live horse export, slaughter

June 14 is the International Day to End Live Export of Animals

A letter from a senior RCMP officer in Langley said Mounties who attended a mayor’s gala in January of 2020 used their own money. Controversy over the event has dogged mayor Val van den Broek (R) and resulted in the reassignment of Langley RCMP Supt. Murray Power (L). (file)
Langley RCMP officers used ‘own money’ to attend mayor’s gala, senior officer says

‘I would not want there to be a belief that the police officers had done something untoward’

Squirrels are responsible for most of U.S. power outages. Black Press file photo
Dead squirrels in park lead Richmond RCMP to probe ‘toxic substance’ found in trees

Police aren’t sure if the chemical was dumped there or placed intentionally

Two hundred and fifteen lights are placed on the lawn outside the Residential School in Kamloops, B.C., Saturday, June, 13, 2021. The remains of 215 children were discovered buried near the former Kamloops Indian Residential School earlier this month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Days after Kamloops remains discovery, Tk’emlups families gather to unite, move ahead

‘We have to work together because this is going to be setting a precedent for the rest of the country’

In this Saturday, May 29, 2021, file photo, people crowd the Santa Monica Pier in Santa Monica, Calif. California, the first state in America to put in place a coronavirus lockdown, is now turning a page on the pandemic. Most of California’s coronavirus restrictions will disappear Tuesday, June 15, 2021. (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes, File)
With COVID tamed, it’s a ‘grand reopening’ in California

No more state rules on social distancing, no more limits on capacity, no more mandatory masks

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Carey Price (31) is scored on by Vegas Golden Knights defenseman Alec Martinez, not pictured, during the second period in Game 1 of an NHL hockey Stanley Cup semifinal playoff series Monday, June 14, 2021, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)
Habs fall 4-1 to Vegas Golden Knights in Game 1 of NHL semifinal series

Match was Montreal’s first game outside of Canada in 2021

Most Read