Those hoping to purchase merchandise bearing Edmonton’s old moniker will no longer be able to acquire them directly from official team sources.
Following the Christmas rush, the Edmonton Football Team has closed its official team store for the month of January to undergo maintenance. Visitors to the online store will encounter an announcement advising them to enter their email to be notified of the store’s relaunch in February.
According to a report from Gerry Moddejonge of the Edmonton Sun, none of its current inventory featuring the retired nickname will be available when the store re-opens.
The merchandise purge is the next step in a name change process for the Edmonton Football Team that began in late July. The team had long been under fire for its use of the ‘Eskimos’ name, an outdated term now generally consider derogatory by those of Inuit descent.
Amid the massive Black Lives Matter protests in summer 2020, two premier corporate partners, Belairdirect and Sports Interaction, delivered ultimatums: change the name or their sponsorships would be gone.
Edmonton accelerated their review of the team name and followed the lead of the NFL’s Washington Football Team by dropping the name adopted at the formation of club in 1949.
Sales of merchandise under the old name spiked following the announcement, but fans who oppose the change — or simply want a souvenir of the bygone era — will have to look elsewhere.
The official decision on a new franchise nickname isn’t expected until April and the team will lean on their decision to keep the historic ‘double E’ logo and sell only EE or Edmonton Football Team merchandise for the intermittent months.
While the name change remains controversial in some circles, the club received more than 13,000 fan submissions for the replacement, ranging from Elks to Extreme. Expected to cost over $1 million dollars for the complete re-brand, fans simply hope the new gear is money well spent.