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Should the Edmonton Eskimos change their name?

The question has been raised after the U.S Patent and Trademark Office decided in a landmark ruling on Wednesday to cancel six Washington Redskins registered trademarks, reasoning that the name was “disparaging to Native Americans.”

Washington Redskins fight raises questions about the CFL team's name

The U.S. patent office stripped the Washington Redskins NFL team of its right to register the name "Redskins." The news has led some Canadians to ask whether it's time to also retire the Edmonton Eskimos CFL team name, reasoning it may also be offensive to indigenous people. (Associated Press)

Should the CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos change their name?

The question has been raised after the U.S Patent and Trademark Office decided in a landmark ruling on Wednesday to cancel six Washington Redskins registered trademarks, reasoning that the name was “disparaging to Native Americans.”

Many people also consider the word "Eskimo" inappropriate and some are calling to have the Edmonton Eskimos name changed.

City blogger Ben Freeland wants the name changed because he says it’s offensive and inaccurate.

“The name has nothing to do with Edmonton,” said Freeland. “This is traditional Cree territory. We might as well call ourselves the Edmonton Navajo or the Edmonton Aztecs. It’s about as close a connection as that.”

Freeland believes the Eskimos name isn’t a big issue in the city because the team doesn’t have an offensive logo to go along with it. ‘

“I think the difference when you compare the Eskimos to say the Cleveland Indians or the Washington Redskins is that… we don’t have a caricature or cartoon character on our jerseys,” he said.

Some, however, don’t feel so strongly about the matter.

“I don’t believe that there is any kind of negative connotation to that name,” said Julie Lewis. “I think it’s just historic.”

Others living in Inuvik in the Northwest Territories appear to be split on the issue.

“I find it insulting personally,” said Carl Grubin-Fraser. “But there are others that think a team name is just a team name.”

“Edmonton Eskimos, to me, is just the name of a sports team,” said Richard Gordon. “Nothing offensive.”

A spokesperson representing the sports team said the organization has no plans to change the Eskimos name.

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