October 19, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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SFU dropping ‘Clan’ varsity team title, productive promptly

SFU dropping 'Clan' varsity team name, effective immediately

Simon Fraser University (SFU) is dropping the name of its varsity athletic groups, productive immediately, following dozens of scholar athletes and school put in yrs pressuring college executives to make the alter.

The Burnaby-primarily based college declared the retirement of the 55-12 months-old name in a assertion Wednesday.

“The most important variable contributing to the final decision was the very well-getting of pupil athletes, lots of of whom claimed that the present identify experienced brought on them to working experience unsafe situations, upsetting conversations and other hurt,” the assertion read.

The school reported it will get started the system of picking out a new title this fall, with hopes of announcing the new title before the close of 2020.

College students shouldn’t bear burden of bad identify: president

The “Clan” name, shortened from the original “Clansmen,” was intended as a nod to the Scottish heritage of fur trader and explorer Simon Fraser, for whom the university is named. The title has generally been misinterpreted as a reference to the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

“For pupil athletes and supporters, you need to be equipped to depict your faculty with delight and honour,” Othniel Spence, a former captain of the men’s basketball workforce, earlier informed CBC Information. “As a substitute, the feelings that appear [from] the title is much more of shame and embarrassment.”

Even nevertheless the SFU workforce name was Clan, Spence said, quite a few American athletes and followers heard Klan.

“A team name really should be inclusive to most people, but this crew name is a lot more conflicting, specially to university student athletes of color. It is just exhausting to have that conversation time immediately after time. Or listen to snide remarks or hear snide feedback.”

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SFU President Andrew Petter made a decision to move ahead with the title transform based mostly on feedback from student athletes, coaches, team and the wider neighborhood.

“We’ve heard progressively from student athletes [the name is] a load,” mentioned Petter. “We have a lot of additional Black athletes and athletes of color, this title is not going to provide them well… we might like them to have a title that they’d be proud of.”

Aged title to be ‘honoured’

Petter mentioned the college will honour the outgoing staff title, saying it’s proud of the team’s long background and the university’s Scottish roots. 

“We are quite fully commited to celebrating and hold out positively our Scottish roots, but at the exact time we want to be inclusive of other cultures,” mentioned Petter. 

“We have our traditions, but we are a dynamic establishment.”

Phone calls to improve the university’s workforce identify day back again to at least 2017. The faculty has competed in the NCAA Division II Excellent Northwest Athletic Convention versus American universities ranging from Alaska to Oregon because 2011.

Like these from SFU, activists all-around the world have been paying out yrs pushing expert sports leagues, post-secondary institutions and higher universities to drop racist, offensive and disrespectful names, logos and mascots. Protests against anti-Black racism, introduced in the wake of George Floyd’s dying at the arms of Minneapolis law enforcement, drew fresh notice to the difficulty.

The Edmonton Soccer Club mentioned very last thirty day period it would be shifting its name choice on Tuesday to discontinue the use of a controversial phrase in the team’s identify. Other groups in the United States are also re-analyzing crew names.

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