You Can Help Choose McGill's New Men's Sports Team Name & Some Say It Should Be "Martlets"

There will be no "Sporty McSportface" here.
You Can Help Choose McGill's New Men's Sports Team Name & Some Say It Should Be "Martlets"
  • The Athletic Department at McGill University has officially opened up to the public in order to find the new name for the men's varsity sports teams.
  • You can submit your own thoughts or suggestions now, find the link below.
  • Though some people are saying the whole process is a waste of time when the men's team could just take the women's team name, "Marlets."

McGill University's Athletic Department is calling on the community to help choose the new name for the Men's Varsity teams. The Naming Committee has come together to outline the process by which the school will move away from the historic "Redmen" team name of years past. McGill's men's Varsity teams were stripped of the name and played under the interim name "McGill Teams" for the entirety of this past year. Now the committee has decided to open up the discussion to the community, and you can help choose what the new name will be.

McGill Principal and Vice-Chancellor, Suzanne Fortier, explained in the statement about the decision to pull the name that, "McGill did not adopt the Redmen name as a reference to North American Indigenous peoples.

However, the name has been associated with Indigenous peoples at different points in our history. Today, “Redmen” is widely acknowledged as an offensive term for Indigenous peoples, as evidenced by major English dictionaries."

The statement continued, "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, we cannot ignore this contemporary understanding.

Intention, however benign, does not negate prejudicial effect. Inclusion and respect are at the core of our University’s principles and values; pejoratives run contrary to who we are as a community."

Because of the violent prejudicial effect this name had, not only on McGill students but even worse, the athletes of Indigenous heritage who had to wear the jersey with this word stamped across it, the university decided to take action and rename the team.

The non-voting members of the Men's Varsity Tames Naming Process Committee are largely McGill faculty or community members, while voting members are mostly current and alumni athletes, as well as two McGill Athletics and Recreation staff members and two current coaches.

The committee is being co-chaired by Fabrice Labeau, McGill's Deputy Provost of Student Life and Learning and Hubert T. Lacroix, McGill Law Alumni who served as the president and CEO of the CBC between 2008 and 2018.

These committee members will consider the submissions and create a short-list, then consider the "viability and suitability" of the shortlisted names and then select a "preferred name" which will require a two-thirds majority vote. After a preferred name has been selected it will be submitted to the Principal and the men's Varsity teams should have their new name by the 2020-2021 season.

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On December 13, 2019, McGill Athletics announced that now the conversation would be open to the larger community with a call for submissions.

Those interested can submit a suggestion in either English or French that outlines any one of three things: what you think the new name should be, what you think should be represented in the new name, and what you think should not be represented in the new name.

Many people have already been suggesting that the men's teams just adopt the women's team name, the Marlets, instead of going through this whole process. 

This spawned a fun little Twitter thread, between TSN's Jim Mullin, McGill Athletics, and a McGill football coach, Corwyn Foster.

Marlets definitely is a choice that could send a nice message about gender. In fact, I'm sure most schools share the same name for both male and female teams. I wonder why the women's teams weren't just called the Red Women from the start?

Despite the people sounding off on Twitter, the submissions will need to be far more well-considered, as the submission form asks for mandatory rationale and/or comments that relate to the "values of Respect, Leadership, Teamwork, Excellence, and Integrity."

To submit your own suggestion for the new name, head to the McGill Name Submissions website here.