It was only a matter of time before the Edmonton Eskimos agreed to change their name, and it’s the right call.
There are reports out of the Alberta capital that an official decision could come as early as next week after the Canadian Football League team agreed to take a harder look at its name and the impact it has on Canada’s Indigenous community.
It was just a week or so ago that one of the team’s main sponsors, home and auto insurance company Belairdirect, announced that it would cut ties with the Eskimos unless the club changed its name.
That prompted the team to “accelerate” the process of reviewing its name, which it has used since the team’s inception in 1949.
The decision also comes just days after the NFL’s Washington Redskins dumped their controversial name.
As I said earlier this month, the Eskimos were in a no-win situation whether they decided to change their name or not as they risked either being tone-deaf or more concerned about their sponsorship dollars than Canada’s Indigenous peoples.
Still, the team should be commended for turning the page on their decades-old brand.
But this is also an opportunity for Edmonton’s community-owned CFL club.
A new name and new merchandise for a large and passionate fan base will be a financial windfall for the franchise.
As for the team’s new name, it will be interesting to see what Edmonton chooses.
Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, news and senior sports director at Global News Radio 900 CHML.