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

Langley Lake supplies the drinking water for Union Bay. File photo by Bob Ell
Comox Valley board wants to halt Union Bay-area logging plans

Regional district inviting forest company to work on watershed plan

Corwin Fox performs on the grounds of the Courtenay and District Fish & Game Club for a 2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest segment, with the iconic Comox Glacier in the background. The 2021 festival will feature numerous outdoor segments, highlighting the beauty of the Comox Valley. Photo via Island MusicFest
2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest format will showcase the beauty of the Comox Valley

The 2021 Vancouver Island MusicFest -The Virtual Edition - will be like… Continue reading

Black Press file photo
RCMP seek suspect in Vancouver Island-wide crime spree

Crimes stretched from Deep Bay to Qualicum, Ladysmith, Chemainus and Youbou

Things are looking up for Vancouver Island as zero COVID-19 cases have been reported for the first time since October. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Island records zero new COVID-19 cases for the first time since October

For the first time since October, the province is reporting zero new… Continue reading

Comox town hall. Black Press file photo
Comox takes step closer to finalizing Northeast Comox Storm Water Management Plan

“(This has been a) tremendous work in progress for many years”

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Gary Abbott (left) and Louis De Jaeger were two of the organizers for the 2014 Spirit of the People Powwow in Chilliwack. Monday, June 21, 2021 is Indigenous Peoples Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of June 20 to 26

Indigenous Peoples Day, Take Your Dog to Work Day, Onion Rings Day all coming up this week

Central Okanagan Grade 12 grads are set to get $500 each after a more than $1 million donation from a Kelowna couple. (File photo)
B.C. couple donating $500 to every Grade 12 student in the Okanagan

Anonymous donors identified as Kelowna entrepreneurs Lance and Tammy Torgerson

British Columbia’s premier says he’s received a second dose of the Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine. (Twitter/John Horgan)
B.C. premier gets 2nd dose of AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine

John Horgan shared a photo of himself on social media Friday afternoon holding a completed vaccination card

A lotto Max ticket is shown in Toronto on Monday Feb. 26, 2018.THE CANADIAN PRESS
No winning ticket sold for Friday’s $70 million Lotto Max jackpot

The huge jackpot has remained unclaimed for several weeks now

Karl and Stephanie Ann Johanson were thrilled to spot a pair of Sandhill Cranes in the Panama Flats this month, an unusual appearance for such birds. (Photo by Stephanie Ann Johanson)
WATCH: Sandhill cranes an unusual, joyful sight in South Island parkland

These birds don’t often touch down on their way between northern B.C. and Mexico

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Most Read