Morden’s hockey team with derogatory name announces it could change

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A rural Manitoba senior hockey team that has resisted calls to change the name of its offensive team in the past announced on Tuesday that it was considering making the switch, but when and if it will happen is still in the air.Morden’s team posted a statement on Facebook saying they decided to change their name after “positive and constructive conversations with community members.”

Calls resurfaced in July for Morden’s senior hockey team to drop its name, which is seen as an insult to Indigenous peoples.

However, when CBC News asked Morden’s senior hockey executive Brent Meleck whether the team’s name change was promising, he wasn’t sure.

“I guess it will, but nothing is set in stone. We are looking at all angles, ”he said.

The whole city will be involved in the team’s new brand: mayor

Morden Mayor Brandon Burley has personally urged the team to change the name he considers derogatory – and said in an interview that the community will start raising funds to cover the costs of rebranding.

In the past, he’s offered to pay the cost, but he says he wants the whole city involved in the brand new team.

“We’re going to get down to business doing this in a way that shows them that it’s more than me claiming it and that I’m willing to pay for it. It is the wider community that is behind this and will support the team in the future, ”he said.

The statement from Morden’s senior hockey executive suggests the team is seeking that broader support as well.

“We want to represent all the citizens of Morden and have made a decision to make changes in the future,” said the hockey manager.

“Not all members of our community find our nickname inclusive or appropriate. ”

Meleck says that the name and brand of the team that many consider offensive is not meant to be.

“We never disrespected, nor intended to hurt anyone’s feelings or be anything other than a positive vibe in our room. And that’s exactly what we’re trying to portray, ”Meleck said.

“This is what it is now. It is a difficult decision and we will continue with our process and we will go from there. ”

According to the statement on Facebook, more information on the transition will be provided as it becomes available.

“There is no timeline yet in terms of when there will be a drastic change. This is still under development, ”says Burley.

Calls to change name

Local Morden residents Dave Bone and Rachelle Fehr also called for the team’s name and logo to be changed and even held a march later this month to protest.

Bone says he and Fehr are hoping to meet with the team to get clarification on the statement posted on social media, but are cautiously optimistic.

“As long as the rebranding means a name and logo change, we are happy and will not continue the march,” he said.

Dave Bone and Rachelle Fehr led a march to pressure Morden’s senior hockey team to change their name and logo. They say they are seeking clarification on the statement the team released on Tuesday. (Change name / Facebook)

Bone, who identifies as native, says he plans to help with fundraising efforts to help rebrand.

Past efforts to bring the Southern Manitoba City team to a change have failed.

In 2015, City Councilor Heather Francis introduced a motion asking council to formally request a name change for the hockey team, but the motion was defeated 5-2.

Morden’s senior hockey management statement says she is working to incorporate the change as “effectively” as possible, but the main goal is to make sure it is done correctly and completely.

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