The CFL team long known as the Eskimos have decided to change the name in a way they say demonstrates the level of respect they have for those the moniker is said to honour.
Beginning next season, the squad will henceforth be known as the Edmonton Inuit, a nod to the fact that the old nickname was considered a slur by many ‘Eskimos’ — minus a few Inuit dug up by reporters and columnists who found themselves stuck for a fresh angle that day.
“After hearing a lot of different criticisms, we just thought it was time to modernize the name,” says team spokesperson John Whiteman.
“It’s 2017, after all. We needed to think outside the igloo here.”
However, not everyone likes the novel nomenclature. “Seriously?”, replied Natan Obed, president of Inuit Tapiriit Kanatami, the political body which represents actual Inuit across Canada.
“No, really: is this a joke?”
An American-born player on the offensive line who’s about to retire—speaking on condition of anonymity—said he and his fellow athletes are hoping the team’s name change will finally put the controversy behind them. “Sure, we’re sad to lose the catchy alliteration, but I’m sure ‘EI’ will have just as nice a ring to it.”
Dave Trucknutski isn’t so sure. A long-time fan of the ‘Eskies,’ he finds the new name bewildering: “I mean, what the hell is an ‘Inuit,’ anyway? These people have no respect for tradition. I just think it’s political correctness run wild.”