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NHL’s first Inuk player releases statement on Edmonton Eskimos team name

The NHL's first Inuk hockey player has weighed in on the controversy surrounding the Edmonton Eskimos' team name.

Following increased pressure to change the name, Jordin Tootoo said he doesn’t personally take issue with the name Eskimos’, however, the team should consider changing it.

“I understand there are names of sports teams that bring back feelings of oppression for people and I can see why those names should be changed,” said Tootoo in a statement.

“Does the term Eskimo for the Edmonton franchise bring back feelings of oppression for the Inuk people? For me, it does not.”

Tootoo carries on to say that he refers to himself as Inuk, as do most others in his generation, while his father's generation “connects to this term to describe who they are. He would describe himself as Eskimo.”

Others in the Inuit community have condemned the name, including singer Tanya Tagaq and Nunavut MP Mumilaaq Qaqqaq.

Tootoo has called on the CFL team to be more transparent about why they adopted the name and why they continue to keep it.

In response to pressure, the team said they had done a survey and didn’t find consensus among the Inuk people they asked. Based on that, the team decided to keep the name.

The NFL's Washington Redskins has announced they will be changing their team name before the start of the season.

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