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TOO OFFENSIVE? Canadians split over renaming teams with Indigenous monikers: study


To change or not to change.

That is the debate over North American sports teams that have used Indigenous names and imagery for decades.

According to a new study , Canadians are relatively split when asked if teams like the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos should drop their moniker for another identity.

The Angus Reid Institute recently polled 1,544 people and found 56% said teams should keep their Indigenous names that fans have grown accustomed to. That number was led by men over the age of 35 and women over 55.

On the flip side, a majority of young women and those with university educations were among the 44% that said it’s time for teams to change their names so that people in those communities may no longer feel offended or ostracized by its continued use.

However, when it came to the Eskimos, only 29% of respondents found the name offensive.

In April, the Esks said they had no plans to change the team’s name . The organization did say they have reached out to Inuit leaders, fans and season ticket holders about its use over the last two years.

The study comes on the heels of the University of McGill dropping the use of Redmen for the school’s male varsity sports teams after Indigenous students, faculty and staff found its use discriminatory. Although the term Redmen was coined due to the university’s uniform colours, the Montreal school has incorporated Indigenous imagery in the past.

According to the study, 56% of Canadians said McGill made the right choice to discontinue its use of Redmen even though a slight majority (56%) said such names should not be changed.

Copyright Postmedia Network Inc., 2019

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