Naylor sheds light on Edmonton's team name review process
The Edmonton Eskimos released a statement on Wednesday promising an update on discussions regarding the team's name by the end of the month after a sponsor said it would end its relationship with the club if it doesn't change its name.
"We acknowledge and appreciate the feedback and input regarding our name," the statement read. "We take this issue seriously as has been demonstrated by the three years we’ve spent engaging in Canada’s north and conducting research related to our name. We recognize that a lot has occurred since this information was gathered, and as a result, we are accelerating our ongoing process of review. 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. We intend to complete our review as quickly as possible and will provide an update on these discussions by the end of this month.
Insurance company Belairdirect called for the team to change their name on Tuesday.
"At Belairdirect one of our core values is respect, which is founded on seeing diversity as a strength, being inclusive and collaborative," the company said in a statement. "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."
The Eskimos released a statement last week saying they would increase their engagement with Inuit communities to assess their views on the team's name.
"The Edmonton Eskimos conducted an extensive research and engagement program with Canada's Inuit community regarding our team name," the statement read.
"We announced the findings from that program several months ago which included the fact that there was no consensus among the Inuit people and considerable support for the Eskimos name among Inuit in various parts of Northern Canada. We recognize that there has been increased attention to the name recently and we will ramp up our ongoing engagement with the Inuit communities to assess their views."
Belairdirect sponsors the team's 50/50 draw at Commonwealth Stadium.
Last week, the owner of Washington's NFL team, Dan Snyder, said the team would review their name after pressure from fans and sponsors while the MLB's Cleveland Indians are also reviewing their team name.