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Edmonton's CFL franchise changing team nickname

Last Updated Jul 21, 2020 at 1:18 pm PDT

Helmets belonging to members of the Edmonton Eskimos sit on the field during a team practice in Winnipeg. (John Woods/CP)

EDMONTON (CityNews) – The Edmonton CFL team has made the decision to discontinue its former nickname.

The Edmonton franchise will be known as the Edmonton Football team or EE Football until a new name is selected.

The decision to change the name comes a week after the club released its annual report, where the franchise discussed some research indicating public opinion was changing at a rapid rate as more and more people became uncomfortable with the name.

“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,” said Janice Agrios, Chair of the Board of Directors.

“While we might relate to Inuit values–it doesn’t mean we can continue using the name.”

Agrios says their consultations were legitimate and extensive, adding lack of consensus initially led them to keep the name, but that 2020 has proven to be a year of “upheaval” and “sweeping societal change”.

President and CEO Chris Presson calls the decision to change the team’s name “a historic and monumental” occasion for the club.

“I think we have the best fans, not only in our city, but in this league. That’s why I feel confident our fans will support us through this historic name change,” said Presson.

He added that getting used to a new name might be challenging for some long-time fans, but he says fans need to come together as a team and unite on a new name.

The club will now undertake a comprehensive engagement process to pick a new name, but the hope is to keep the EE logo and the green and gold theme.

“The chance to choose a new name for the future of this team–a name that captures those Edmonton values–that’s a great opportunity.”

There’s no new name yet–and there likely won’t be by time the 2020 season takes off–but the club is engaging with fans to come up with a new name.