Edmonton football team becomes Elks

Edmonton football team becomes Elks
Edmonton football team becomes Elks

The member organization of the Canadian Football League (CFL) dropped its name in July 2020 because it was deemed inappropriate.

The name presentation was made live on the team’s Youtube channel.

Radio-Canada is sensitive to the choice of words in its articles. All the more so when it comes to using words considered insults. It has been a long time since we at Radio-Canada have used the word eskimo or Eskimo to designate persons of the Inuit people.

However, for the sake of clarity, and in accordance with our Journalistic Standards and Practices (New window) , we have continued, until today, to use the word to refer to the football team of Eskimos d’Edmonton . The use of the word is still relevant to explain, moreover, the controversy and current events that surround it.

We are aware that the use of the Edmonton team name is criticized as it is viewed by many as a racist insult. Out of respect for them, we will privilege, as far as possible, synonyms to refer to the team.

The team, which won the Gray Cup 14 times, had consulted the population for suggestions regarding the new name.

She claims to have received 14,833 submissions with 2,047 unique names.

During a second consultation phase, seven names were selected and members of the public were invited to vote on their favorite names. A total of 38,761 people were then expressed.

The name Elks was not part of the seven choices, but it included Elk, in the singular.

Seven names had been selected, all beginning with the letter “E”.

Photo: Edmonton Football Team

Word elk, which means momentum, is rarely used with a s in English, but the organization says it checked with linguists from the University of Alberta and representatives from the Oxford Dictionary before confirming the name chosen.

The team retained Elks rather than Elk because of its sound and its proximity to the short name Esks often used in the past.

A popular choice

The organization did not commit to choosing the name that obtained the most votes from the population. She said she wanted to give herself options.

Team president Chris Presson, however, says the name Elks was most popular with all segments of the population. He adds that it is also the preferred name among the staff of the organization and the players.

In an interview conducted a few weeks ago, defensive lineman Mathieu Betts admitted to preferring Elks, while adding that whatever the name, the most important thing for him was to be able to resume action as quickly as possible.

I can already imagine the fans in the stands with horns on their caps.

A quote from:Mathieu Betts, Elks d’Edmonton

Jean-Marc Cloutier, holder of a season pass, will wait a bit before buying a new cap.

I saw the new caps, they are very beautiful. The new logo is very beautiful, but mine [avec deux E superposés] is still good.

Novelty and tradition

The new logo depicts the face of an elk with antlers above the head. On the helmet, we will only find the antlers.

The double E logo will be retained, but will no longer be the main team logo. It will be used during special promotions and players will wear this logo on their helmets during certain games during the season.

We’ve never had so many options for our image, says Chris Presson. Our strategy regarding the use of our logos is not complete, but we like the possibilities available to us.

The name, while new, also echoes the past. In 1922, when the 10th Gray Cup was staged, the Edmonton Elks lost 13-1 to Queen’s University.

The Elks were then one of two Edmonton area rugby teams.

Back in August

The Canadian Football League hopes to resume operations on August 5. Chris Presson says he is confident that this goal will be achieved.

According to the Alberta government’s deconfinement plan, the Elks will be able to welcome spectators, without restrictions, when 70% of the population has received a first dose of vaccine.

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