Rick Zamperin: Edmonton Eskimos possibly following Washington’s lead in opting for name change

Edmonton's CFL team has been called the Eskimos since 1949. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Ulan

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.

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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.

Read more: Eskimos lose $1.1 million in 2019; release survey results about team name

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.

Click to play video: 'Edmonton Eskimos collecting more name feedback' Edmonton Eskimos collecting more name feedback
Edmonton Eskimos collecting more name feedback – Jul 15, 2020

Still, the team should be commended for turning the page on their decades-old brand.

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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.

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NFL’s Washington team punting Redskins name, logo – Jul 13, 2020

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