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The Edmonton Eskimos Name Drama Is Coming Back To An Argument Near You

Polls confirm that Canadians are still mad.

The Edmonton Eskimos are an Albertan team playing in the Canadian Football League. Going strong since 1949, the team has captured the hearts of many in Alberta and beyond. Though, the team is also subject to one specific source of controversy. Fans have been divided for years regarding the Edmonton Eskimos' name. As some Canadians have deemed the team's name to be offensive and racist, there has been a lot of buzz surrounding the topic in recent years. Now, a poll has been released on the matter, giving us a clear idea of how many Canadians aren't cool with the name and how many aren't bothered. 

Let's talk numbers. According to new poll results released by Research Co., 23% of Canadians believe the name of the CFL franchise, The Edmonton Eskimo Football Club, to be unacceptable. The poll compares today's numbers to a similar poll in 2017 when 21% of Canadians felt the name was unacceptable. Now, two years later, even more Canadians aren’t happy about the Edmonton Eskimos' name. Though this poll is new, the backlash towards the Edmonton Eskimos' name has been around for a while.

In fact, a petition was started to change the name back in 2017 around the time of the Grey Cup and a hashtag #ChangeTheNameYEG began to circulate.

The petition was titled “Edmonton Eskimos: It’s Time to Change the Name” and address to Len Rhodes, President and DEO of the Edmonton Eskimos. Started by an Edmonton Eskimos fan, the petitions creator wrote, “I’m a proud fan of the Edmonton Eskimos. Have been my whole life,” and continued to say “I'm also proud of my city for recognizing the simple fact that the name of our beloved football team is offensive, derogatory, and outdated.” The petition was aiming to get 2,000 signatures. As of now, there are 1,075. 

According to CBC News, the franchise has spent a lot of time between 2017 and now speaking to Inuit leaders across Canada.

A tweet by CFL News surfaced in April 2019 saying “The Edmonton Eskimos may not be known as the Edmonton Eskimos for very much longer. According to unnamed sources, the Edmonton Football Club is 2 years in to a long term plan to change their name from the Edmonton Eskimos to the Edmonton Empire.”

Allan Watt, a marketing and communications official with the Eskimos, responded in an interview with CBC News. Watt says they were merely talking about the name with Inuit leaders, not talking about changing the name.

It's been an unclear journey for over two years regarding a potential name change for the Edmonton Eskimos. In the poll conducted by Research Co., “There is a pronounced generational gap when Canadians are asked about the current name of Edmonton’s CFL franchise,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. More specifically, younger Canadians are more upset about the name than the older people in the country. 

The Edmonton Eskimos aren't the only team under fire about their name. For example, 29% of Canadians say the Washington Redskins’ name is unacceptable.

We can't say what's in store for the future of the Eskimos' name, but it sure doesn't seem like the drama is going away.

Narcity has reached out to the Edmonton Eskimos for comment and we will update this story when we receive a response.

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