Skip to main content

Team formerly known as Edmonton Eskimos announces new nickname

Less than a year after retiring the Eskimos nickname, Edmonton has chosen a new one.

While the Washington Football Team hems and haws its way through its name change, the Edmonton football team had no such trouble.

On Tuesday, the team formerly known as the Edmonton Eskimos announced that they will henceforth be called the Edmonton Elks. This announcement was accompanied by a snazzy Twitter video.

The change comes less than a year after Edmonton announced it would change its name, when it became apparent last summer than it was no longer kosher to have a team named after indigenous peoples.

"No one event sparked the decision. We've had open conversations with partners, community and fans about this issue for several years now. We're proud of the engagement that we've done," board chair Janice Agrios said last July.

Though it ignores the fact that the plural of "Elk" is "Elk," the new nickname works on a couple of fronts.

First, Edmonton claims a heretofore unclaimed animal. Milwaukee has the Bucks, but no other North American major professional sports franchise had chosen the Elk as its totem.

Second, by remaining in the E family, the Elks don't have to mothball their EE logo, as seen above, but they're going to anyway, it's easy to see why.

(And, for the record, Edmonton is aware of the "Elk/Elks" thing. From the team: After lengthy debate, consultation with linguistics experts from the Oxford Dictionary and the U of A’s linguistics department, the name “Elks” was finally chosen, adding the “s” to the original choice “Elk”. The new name reflects the speed, strength, and resilience of the Green and Gold and Northern Alberta.)

With Edmonton now off the board, that leaves Simon Fraser University and the Washington Football Team as the only football entities still on the hook for a name change. 

"The entire process has been exciting," team president and CEO Chris Presson said. "This merging of the old and the new allows us a continuation of our great history and tradition."