The one-time star of the Edmonton dynasty that won five consecutive Grey Cups expressed support for the change and said it seemed like an inevitability based on the current historical moment, where protests against racist institutions have gripped the U.S. and spread worldwide.
“It doesn’t surprise me based on the climate we are living in,” Moon admitted.
Moon’s beliefs about the name have evolved over time, like most people. As a player, it gave him a great sense of pride and he wasn’t aware of any issues. As time went on and other organizations came under fire for using ethnic minorities for team names, he realized that there likely was a problem.
“The name Eskimos, to me, just means pride and it means winning with that organization,” Moon said. “But if it is something that is insensitive to another group of people, then that is something we really need to be concerned about.”
That belief is informed by Moon’s own experiences with racism. Famously, he began his career in Canada in an era when the NFL was reluctant to employ Black quarterbacks.
“If this is something that is insensitive to another group of people, that is something I can understand being a minority myself.”
While he agrees with the decision to see the name replaced, Moon shares the sentiment of many fans in believing other elements of the team’s identity and tradition should be maintained through the rebranding.
“The colours are great. Everyone talks about the Green Bay Packers being one of the great organizations, but the Green Bay Packers actually got their colours from us because we are a lot older,” the groundbreaking star explained. “I think the “EE” logo is a really sharp emblem and is something I really like a lot.”
Overall, he believes society is progressing past where it was when he bore the name proudly and is making us all better off.
“I think a lot of things are starting to change and change for the positive. Now you are looking at every situation just a little more closely if it has any sort of controversy or insensitivity wrapped up in it.”