Montreal’s McGill University drops ‘Redmen’ as sports teams’ nickname

Photo courtesy of McGill University Facebook page

Montreal’s McGill University has dropped the Redmen name for its sports teams, effective immediately.

According to published reports, the school’s principal said in a statement Friday that the Redmen name has caused pain and alienation for Indigenous students at the university.

Even though the name was not initially adopted as a reference to Indigenous peoples, that association was made in the 1950s when men’s and women’s teams came to be nicknamed the “Indians” and “Squaws.”

Some teams later adopted a logo with an Indigenous man wearing a headdress.

The principal says that today ‘Redmen’ is widely acknowledged as an offensive term for Indigenous peoples, as evidenced by major English dictionaries.

She adds that While this derogatory meaning of the word does not reflect the beliefs of generations of McGill athletes who have proudly competed wearing the university’s colours, university officials cannot ignore this contemporary understanding.

About the Author

John Mcfadden
John has been in the broadcast journalism industry since the 1980s. He has been a reporter in Yellowknife since 2012 and joined CKLB in January of 2018.  John covers the crime and court beat as well as reporting on other areas including politics, business, entertainment and sports. He won seven national community newspaper awards while he was a journalist with Northern News Services Limited (NNSL).

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