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

Hundreds gathered at Surrey’s Holland Park Friday (June 11) in memory of the Muslim family killed in London, Ont. on Sunday (June 6). (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
Educating public ‘exhausting,’ says White Rock Muslim Association past president

Asad Syed says public needs to be more vocal in their condemnation

The City of White Rock turns 63 today. (file photo)
City of White Rock 2020 annual report available for review

Report to be discussed at June 28 council meeting

Dooris Raad was last seen in South Surrey’s Ocean Park neighbourhood on June 7. (Surrey RCMP photo)
Police tape is shown in Toronto Tuesday, May 2, 2017. Statistics Canada says the country's crime rate ticked up again in 2018, for a fourth year in a row, though it was still lower than it was a decade ago. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graeme Roy
CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of June 13

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau participates in a plenary session at the G7 Summit in Carbis Bay, England on Friday June 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada donating 13M surplus COVID-19 vaccine doses to poor countries

Trudeau says the government will pay for 87 million shots to be distributed to poor countries

Premier John Horgan speaks as provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry, right, and health minister Adrian Dix look on during a press conference to update on the province’s fall pandemic preparedness plan during a press conference from the press theatre at Legislature in Victoria, Wednesday, Sept. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
B.C. officials to provide details on Step 2 of COVID reopening plan Monday

Step 2 could allow for larger gatherings and a resumption of recreational travel

Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller is seen during a news conference, Wednesday May 19, 2021 in Ottawa. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Indigenous child-welfare battle heads to court despite calls for Ottawa to drop cases

Feds are poised to argue against two Canadian Human Rights Tribunal rulings

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Most Read