This Manitoba hockey team has announced it will change its controversial name
WINNIPEG -- As professional sports teams across North America reconsider and change controversial names and logos, a hockey team in Manitoba has announced it will move forward with a rebranding because of its racial stereotypes.
The Morden Senior Hockey Executive team announced in a statement posted on Facebook on Tuesday that it will be making changes to its current name, the Morden Redskins, as well as its logo.
"To us, our logo has always represented community, camaraderie, commitment, and perseverance. These are the values we have defenced when challenged," the statement reads. "We are proud of the people who have worked so hard to build an organization that stands for so many positive values. We have also acknowledged not all members of our community find out nickname inclusive or appropriate."
The statement said after discussions with community members, the executive team has a better understanding of how its current name and logo can be perceived – which led to the name change.
"We hope everyone can appreciate the history and pride that is engrained in our organization and will be carried forward with our new brand," the statement reads, adding more information regarding the process of the transition will be released as it becomes available.
Morden Mayor Brandon Burley said he is proud the team is moving forward with the name change and said he thinks it is the right decision.
"If our words matter – and they do – we need to take account for ourselves and for the words we speak," he said. "How we refer to each other matters and this is just a reckoning that we need to take care of every member of our community and start from there."
This comes in the wake of pro-sports teams across Canada and the U.S. making changes to names and logos having a negative impact on indigenous communities.
In July, Washington's National Football League team announced it would be dropping the 'Redskins' name and logo.
Burley said when the team made this decision, it brought on a larger conversation.
"Fences sank into the ground and people had to get off on one side or the other of this issue – there was nowhere left to go," he said.
The Morden hockey executives said this is the first of many changes that will be coming, and it will continue to share progress as it is made.