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McGill University Ends Use of Racist Team Name

Andy Berg

McGill University in Montreal has decided to do away with the “Redmen” moniker for its sports teams.

The school’s principal and vice chancellor, Suzanne Fortier, last week announced the decision to cease using a name that she said made indigenous students feel alienated.

"They feel disrespected and unconsidered. They feel conflicted over their rightful pride in being Indigenous people, and their pride in being McGill students," Fortier said in a statement, according to CNN. "This tension is even stronger for Indigenous student-athletes."

While Fortier said the name was not adopted as a reference to North American Indigenous peoples, she noted that perceptions have changed.

"McGill did not adopt the Redmen name as a reference to North American Indigenous peoples. However, the name has been associated with Indigenous peoples at different points in our history. Today, 'Redmen' is widely acknowledged as an offensive term for Indigenous peoples, as evidenced by major English dictionaries," Fortier said.

The change is effective immediately and the school’s teams will be known simply as McGill for the upcoming season. All branded items are expected to be removed from school stores by the fall semester, but the Redmen name will remain in the school’s sports hall of fame and "on existing items of historical significance" such as trophies and championship photos, the school said.

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