Edmonton CFL team decides to change its name: TSN
EDMONTON -- Edmonton's CFL team has decided to change its name, TSN reports, with an announcement coming as soon as next week.
TSN Edmonton reporter Ryan Rishaug tweeted Thursday afternoon the Edmonton Eskimos made an internal decision to change the controversial team name.
The decision comes after major team sponsors including Belairdirect and Sports Interaction put pressure on Edmonton to change its name.
CTV News Edmonton reached out to the team which said it has no updates at this time.
SPONSORS PUSH BACK
Two of the team's 12 "premier sponsors" have publicly stated they want the team to change its name.
On July 7, CTV News was the first to reveal Belairdirect, a national home and auto insurer, had said it would end its relationship with the team if the name wasn't changed.
"At Belairdirect one of our core values is respect, which is founded on seeing diversity as a strength, being inclusive and collaborative," reads a statement from the company.
"In order for us to move forward and continue on with our partnership with the Edmonton Eskimos, we will need to see concrete action in the near future including a name change. We have shared our position with the team."
Belairdirect is a longtime sponsor of the team's 50/50 draw at Commonwealth Stadium.
Earlier Thursday, Sports Interaction, an online sportsbook operated out of Quebec by the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake, told CTV News it also wanted a name change.
"Sports Interaction will be asking the Edmonton Eskimos to change its name so that we can continue supporting the club and its fans,” spokesman Ryan Stetson wrote in an email to CTV News.
Jiffy Lube told the Canadian Press it supports the further engagement.
"We look forward to hearing feedback from their ongoing discussions,” spokeswoman Kelly McClung said.
A spokesman for TFB & Associates, the Canadian brand owners of lozenge manufacturer Fisherman's Friend, said the issue is "something we have been following closely."
"We support Edmonton’s CFL team’s re-engagement in discussions with the Inuit communities and are looking forward to the timely and respectful progression of those conversations along with a positive outcome for all."
Although it is listed as a premier sponsor, Boston Pizza said its relationship with the team came to an end due to a shift in corporate marketing strategy, and not necessarily due to the team's name.
"Our decision to end the sponsorship was made prior to recent events in society, and as part of a larger shift in our marketing strategy away from legacy sponsorships of professional sports teams," a company spokesperson told CTV News.
Remaining premier sponsors The Brick, Molson Coors, Discount Car and Truck Rental, James H. Brown and Associates, Save on Foods, Servus Credit Union, Telus and Tim Hortons all have not responded to multiple media requests filed by CTV News over more than week.
The team has said it is accelerating its review of its team name and will report back by the end of July.
In a statement, the team says "we acknowledge and appreciate the feedback and input regarding our name" and that it takes the naming issue seriously."
"We will be seeking further input from the Inuit, our partners and other stakeholders to inform our decisions moving forward. We’ll continue to listen carefully and with an open mind."