CFL's Edmonton team dropping 'Eskimos' nickname

July 21 (UPI) -- The Canadian Football League team in Edmonton announced Tuesday it is discontinuing the use of its "Eskimos" nickname.

Edmonton said in a statement that it will be known as the "Edmonton Football Team" while it goes through the process of determining a new nickname.


"Our Board of Directors has made the decision to discontinue use of the word 'Eskimo' in the team name," the statement said. "We'll be known as the Edmonton Football Team or EE Football Team while we go through the process of determining a new name befitting our storied team."

Edmonton released a statement last week saying it was reviewing a name change and would be "seeking further input from the Inuit, our partners and other stakeholders to inform our decisions moving forward."

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Teams across all sports have been under increased pressure to eliminate the use of racist or stereotypical nicknames and imagery, including the NFL's Washington team and MLB's Cleveland Indians. Critics believe the Edmonton team's name is a derogatory, colonial-era term for members of the Inuit community.

In February, Edmonton said it intended to keep the name after a three-year research process that involved Inuit leaders and community members across Canada. The team said it received "no consensus to support a name change."

The Edmonton team -- founded in 1949 -- has won the league's Grey Cup 14 times, second only to the Toronto Argonauts' 17 titles.

The CFL has yet to announce when it will return amid the coronavirus pandemic. The league postponed the start of its 2020 season in June because of the virus.

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