Poll shows more than half of CFL fans dislike Edmonton changing name

More than half of CFL fans and Alberta residents say it was the wrong choice for Edmonton to change their name, a new survey suggests. After years of debate over the use of Indigenous names and imagery in sports, and amid threats from sponsors of withdrawn support, the Edmonton franchise will change its name.

Across the country, teams in varsity, minor, and professional leagues have been doing the same in recent years. The latest study from the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds a majority of Canadians supportive of the decision.

But while 57 per cent of Canadians say dropping the name was the right choice, the same cannot be said for CFL fans. More than half of those who follow the league (55%) say the name should have stayed.

The issue generates division across a number of demographics. Men under 35 largely are onside with the franchise’s decision, while men 55 and over lean the other way. University-educated Canadians are overwhelmingly supportive compared to those with high school accreditation, who are divided evenly.

WATCH | CBC Sports’ Rob Pizzo explains why Edmonton changed their name:

The Edmonton Football Club will discontinue the use of the word “Eskimo” in the team’s name 4:53

Perhaps most notably, Albertans are least likely in the country to say the right call was made; six-in-ten (58%) say the team called the wrong play on this matter.

The Angus Reid Institute conducted an online survey from July 23 – 24, 2020 among a representative randomized sample of 1,519 Canadian adults who are members of Angus Reid Forum. For comparison purposes only, a probability sample of this size would carry a margin of error of +/- 2.5 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding. The survey was self-commissioned and paid for by ARI. Detailed tables are found at the end of this release.

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