A men’s minor hockey team from Morden, Man., has agreed to change its name and logo, following in the footsteps of professional football teams in the CFL and NFL that will be altering team names that have been criticized as racist.
The Morden Redskins, who compete in the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League (SEMHL), announced via a statement from the team’s directors on Monday that they would be updating their branding.
“To us, our logo has always represented community, camaraderie, commitment and perseverance,” the team said of its crest, modelled after that of the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks.
“We are proud of the people who have worked so hard to build an organization that stands for so many positive values. We have also acknowledged not all members of our community find our nickname inclusive or appropriate.
“We wish to represent every citizen of Morden and made the decision to make changes going forward.”
The Morden team, founded in 1983, has won the most championships in SEMHL history, with seven, and is also the league’s defending champion as winners of 2019’s Elmer Hildebrand Trophy. The 2020 championship was not awarded due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Calls for the team to change its name have increased with the higher-profile examples in Edmonton and Washington, and Morden’s mayor told Global News in mid-July that he wanted to be the mayor of the “last city in North America to have this name.”
“We have a good number of Indigenous folks in our community,” said Mayor Brandon Burley.
“The time has come and gone when we can continue to offend them with something as simple as a hockey team name.”