McGill University on Tuesday unveiled the new names for its men’s sports teams, which will now be called the Redbirds.
This identity will replace the previous one – the Redmen – which had been abandoned in May 2019. McGill considered it offensive to members of the First Nations. Late last year, the University asked the community for help in finding names for its teams.
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In a statement issued in the morning, she said she was “keen to honor the traditions and history of the Recreation and Sports Department, while uniting her community.”
“This decision comes at the end of a long process of consultation, discussion and deliberation,” said Fabrice Labeau, co-chair of the naming committee for men’s sports teams. The committee studied several denominations during its mandate and finally opted for The Redbirds, because the name evokes the Recreation and Sports Department both in what it has been in the past and in what it is. today.”
The Committee received 1238 proposals containing a total of 230 names.
“I have no doubt that our male athletes will continue to perform and bring honor to the University for years to come,” said Hubert T. Lacroix, University graduate and co-chair of the naming committee. Our sports teams are a vital part of the McGill community and experience, and I have no doubts that we can all be proud of this new name. ”
In November 2018, McGill students had backed a name change 78.8% in a referendum in which 5,856 people agreed to vote.
“This result shows a need for speed. People need the name to change now, ”said Tomas Jirousek, the Indigenous Affairs Commissioner of the McGill Student Association at the time.
Returning to the Redbirds, the University recalled the past use of the name of several of its clubs, teams and sporting events: the Red Birds Ski Club, founded in 1928 by three McGill graduates; the McGill Nordic Ski Team in the early 1930s; McGill baseball roster of the late 1990s and the beginning of the next. Additionally, the Recreation and Sports Department traditionally hosted a basketball tournament in the fall known as the Redbird Classic.
On the women’s side, McGill continues to use the name “Martlets” for its various teams.