The Clan, Simon Fraser University's sports team, needs a new name
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Simon Fraser University is the only Canadian school playing in the NCAA. Our sports teams play under the name The Clan. But the word "Clan", which sounds the same spelled with a K or a C, has a century or more of horrible history in the United States, one which continues very visibly in hate rallies and acts of terror in the South. This is not a history we can just wish away by saying, "but that's not what WE mean by it!" We don't get to decide all by ourselves what words mean.
In the face of the recent Neo-Nazi and Klan rallies, especially in Charlottesville but also closer to us in Seattle, it is time for SFU to recognize that this word already has a meaning for the teams against whom we play in the NCAA. And we disrespect our competitors, especially but not only Black student athletes, by forcing them to play against a team named The Clan. We can do better.
SFU needs to model good sportsmanship and leadership by choosing a new name to compete under.
Please leave comments with your signature. Especially if you are a student athlete in the US, or work at a university or college in the US, let us know how this matters to you. Some Canadians think the Klan is old history - we need to show them it is not.
And - please leave your great suggestions for new team names! Especially if they recognize the Scottish heritage of SFU (check out our world-class Pipe Band, by the way), and the fact that SFU sits on the unceded territory of the Squamish, Musqueam, and Tsleil-waututh.
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