The house owners of the Saanich Junior Braves, a hockey group on Vancouver Island, say they may change their group’s identify and brand out of respect for Indigenous communities.
The group’s identify and brand have been in use since 1967 when it first joined the Vancouver Island Junior League.
Norm Kelly together with Edward Geric, the house owners of the group, introduced in an announcement that the group identify “will not be respectful to our First Nations and doesn’t replicate the valued relationships we maintain with native First Nations communities or with our First Nations gamers.”
Kelly, talking with host Rohit Joseph on CBC’s All Factors West, mentioned the change was not prompted by a specific controversy.
“I’ve by no means had anybody come up and say they have been upset or disgusted,” mentioned Kelly, including the identify had sparked conversations through the years.
“However we really feel like we wish to be leaders slightly than followers.”
For years, there have been requires numerous sports activities groups to rethink their names on the grounds of offensiveness. The calls have intensified in latest months, particularly within the wake of large anti-racism protests in North America and rising stress from sponsors.
The CFL’s Edmonton Eskimos say they’ve accelerated the process of reviewing their team name following latest calls from sponsors. They are going to present an replace by the top of July.
The NFL’s Washington Redskins, whose identify is an Indigenous slur, have been significantly immune to criticism. However the group now says it is going to endure a “thorough assessment” of their identify after its stadium sponsor, FedEx, demanded a reputation change, and Nike, the league’s official clothing store, dropped the group’s merchandise from its on-line web site.
Others, nevertheless — notably the MLB’s Atlanta Braves and the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks — say they’ve accomplished work to construct relationships with Native American communities and will not be contemplating a reputation change.
Kelly says making a identify change is a giant choice, particularly for groups within the skilled leagues.
“It is a big course of. It is an costly course of. It might be extra so for them,” he mentioned.
For now, his group can be known as the Saanich Junior B group till a brand new identify and brand could be chosen. He says the group has all the time had a great relationship with the group and any criticism for dropping the Braves moniker is “not more than typical.”
Kelly mentioned he does not know what, precisely, this means of renaming will appear like, though it is going to contain enter from the First Nations and Saanich group.
“I believe will probably be good for our hockey group to begin with a recent set of objectives and values.”
Take heed to the complete interview with Norm Kelly on All Factors West right here: