The Morden-based South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League senior men’s hockey team has officially changed its name. The name ‘Redskins ‘has officially been hung to the rafters, while the ‘Bombers’ name has begun flooding the team’s social media channels.
This name change is the product of serious repercussions from around the sporting world in terms of racist team nicknames. The Edmonton Eskimos are no more, the North Dakota Fighting Sioux have disbanded, while the Washington Football Team has also distanced itself from the ‘Redskins’ moniker. The MJHL’s Neepawa Natives will have a new nickname next season. Big league teams such as the Cleveland Indians, Chicago Blackhawks and Atlanta Braves have also begun extensive organizational studies into their respective nicknames and mascots.
This version of the Morden Bombers has no relation to the former Morden Bombers which suited up in the SEMHL until 1983. That club later moved to the CASHL, before the Morden Redskins were borne into existence. The derogatory term will no longer be associated within the SEMHL, as Morden will also wear new sweaters this season – ones featuring the same red, white and black colour scheme, however large ‘B’ will replace the former crest – the near identical logo exhibited by the NHL’s Blackhawks.
In mid-July, Morden’s mayor Brandon Burley wrote to the South Eastern Manitoba Hockey League in an effort to request a formal name and logo change for the league’s Morden Redskins – a moniker in which he (amongst many other locals and indigenous leaders) found disrespectful. Hockey Manitoba has since considered implementing a change that would mandate all teams bearing nicknames of racial background to be given a mandatory one-time name change.
The SEMHL is set to begin its 2020-21 senior men’s season on Friday, November 6, with the hopes of playing out a full 18-game season. Morden will take on Carman the following day in its new uniforms, on Saturday, November 7 and 7:30 PM.