The Canadian Football League’s Edmonton Eskimos have been coming under fire for their name. Those in opposition to the name say that it is equivalent to other offensive team names such as the Washington Redskins.
A recent push for sports teams to move away from using racially sensitive names has transpired after protests erupted over the police killing of George Floyd in May. Since the event protestors have diversified their efforts and adopted a hard stance on racially insensitive issues.
According to Ghost Insights reporting a major sponsor of the Edmonton Eskimos is now saying they will withdraw their support of the team if they do not swiftly change their name. CTV News Edmonton reporter Matthew Black says that Car and Home insurance company Belairdirect says they will cut ties in the “near future” if their demand is not met.
In a statement published by the company, they wrote “At Belairdirect one of our core values is respect, which is founded on seeing diversity as a strength, being inclusive and collaborative.”
They continued, writing “In order for us to move forward and continue on with our partnership with the Edmonton Eskimos, we will need to see concrete action in the near future including a name change. We have shared our position with the team.”
The team released a statement last Friday saying they were aware of the controversy surrounding their name. Their statement read “The Edmonton Eskimos conducted an extensive research and engagement program with Canada’s Inuit community regarding our team name.”
“We announced the findings from that program several months ago which included the fact that there was no consensus among the Inuit people and considerable support for the Eskimos name among Inuit in various parts of Northern Canada. We recognize that there has been increased attention to the name recently and we will ramp up our ongoing engagement with the Inuit communities to assess their views.”
Belairdirect sponsors the team’s 50/50 draw at Commonwealth Stadium in Edmonton.