A solid majority of Canadians don’t want to change the name of the Edmonton Eskimos football team just because some consider it politically incorrect.
According to a survey out Thursday from Insights West, 57 percent of Canadians don’t think the name of the Canadian Football League franchise should be changed. Some in the Inuit community of the Canadian arctic rate it as a racial epithet.
The poll released from the Vancouver marketing company found that only 21 percent object to the name while 23 percent were undecided.
The percentage of those supporting the existing name rose to 71 percent in the Eskimos’ home province of Alberta, where there is a longtime football rivalry between the “Esks” and the Calgary Stampeders.
Edmonton Mayor Don Iveson has been encouraging the team to seek public input on a new name and to have the existing name changed in time for the 2018 Grey Cup game that is scheduled to be held in Edmonton. The mayor of Winnipeg, a city that is also the home of a CFL team, has also provided his advice that the Eskimos moniker be banished.
In a statement, the Eskimos management said, “Those conversations are ongoing and we are keenly listening to all input including from our loyal season seat holders and fans.”
Some Inuit leaders have also complained that the name is an anachronism and insulting because it may come from a First Nations word meaning “eaters of raw meat.”