In response to Obed’s calls for the team to change its name, the Eskimos organization announced that it would increase its engagement with Canada’s Inuit population. This engagement included holding consultations with Inuit in several Northern communities and sending Eskimos players to represent the team and meet with students in Inuvik and Tuktoyaktuk. In February 2020, following a year-long research and engagement program in-person meetings and telephone surveys, the Eskimos announced that they intended to keep the name, citing a lack of consensus in supporting a name change. In the aftermath of increased racial sensitivity following the killing of George Floyd in the United States, sports teams that utilize indigenous iconography – including the Eskimos – came under increased pressure to change their names. While several teams, including the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians announced their intention to review their use of indigenous mascots, the Eskimos initially announced their intention to keep their name based upon the findings of their 2019 research. However, on July 8, 2020, the team released a statement announcing that the name would undergo an internal review, with the results being made public at the end of the month. The team’s statement came after a threat by longtime league sponsor Belair Direct to end its partnership with the CFL unless the name is changed. Other major sponsors, such as Coca-Cola, also expressed concerns about the continued lack of consensus regarding the Eskimos name. The NHL’s first Inuk player, Jordin Tootoo says that he has no personal issue with “Eskimos” but thinks the team should consider changing it.
On July 21, 2020 the team officially retired the “Eskimos” name, and began using “Edmonton Football Team” and “EE Football Team” as temporary names until a new one is decided. The name change occurred at around the same time as the NFL’s Washington Football Team retired its longstanding nickname for similar reasons, although unlike in the latter case the Edmonton Football Team intends to keep its logo which unlike Washington’s former logo lacks any racialized aspect.
1958 – Present / Canadian Football League
2021 – Present / Edmonton Football Team
1949 – 2020 / Edmonton Eskimo
Edmonton Football Team – The team’s name has drawn controversy and criticism, as the term “Eskimo” is now considered in Canada to be a racial slur against the Inuit. On July 16, 2020, it was reported that the club will be dropping the ‘Eskimos’ name. On July 21, the team officially retired the name, and temporarily began using “Edmonton Football Team” and “EE Football Team” until a new name is decided.
Grey Cup 0
2015, 2005, 2003, 1993, 1987, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978, 1975, 1956, 1955, 1954
1978 – Present / The Brick Field at Commonwealth Stadium
1949 – 1978 / Clarke Stadium
1949 – Present / Community – Widely Held
*Blue is this team’s history