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Simon Fraser University Drops Clan Nickname


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14 hours ago, Wade Heidt said:

 

I know the school loves having the NCAA designation, but I would be way more interested in following what the football team was doing if they went back to playing Canadian ball in Canada West.  Been to SFU football games and would so much rather go to UBC ones because of who the opponents would be.  

 

Would have more of a vested interest if SFU was playing UBC, Saskatchewan, or Manitoba for example rather  than Azusa Pacific and Humboldt State.

I actually wish that there would be a way to either merge USports and the NCAA or move more Canadian (and Mexican) schools into the NCAA as a whole. I think, for example, that Carleton University in Ottawa would be a top 40 team in Division 1 in men's basketball. They regularly beat NCAA teams in exhibitions and have won 15 out of 18 USports championships.

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9 hours ago, sc49erfan15 said:

This isn't difficult.

 

Say the word "clan" and upwards of 90% of North Americans are going to think you're referring to the Klan. 9.9% are going to think you're talking about Wu-Tang. 0.1% are going to associate it with Scottish families. Clearly the Simon Fraser Clan should be able to use the nickname "Clan," as there's absolutely nothing wrong with the word itself - but it's been ruined by another group. The swastika analogy mentioned earlier is spot-on. Simon Fraser has expressed desire to move away from any sort of remote confusion with the Klan. Can you blame them?

 

And plus, it sucks as a sports team nickname so it's a great excuse to go with a new one.

 

I guess something I've learned here from you and @BringBackTheVet is that far fewer people are just aware of Scottish clans. I guess as someone with Scottish heritage I just naturally associate the word with Scotland. I would have never imagined that other people's first thought would be to think of the KKK when they just hear the word "Clan" rather than assuming it referred to actual clans. :censored: white supremacists ruining perfectly good words.

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5 minutes ago, Maroon said:

 

I guess something I've learned here from you and @BringBackTheVet is that far fewer people are just aware of Scottish clans. I guess as someone with Scottish heritage I just naturally associate the word with Scotland. I would have never imagined that other people's first thought would be to think of the KKK when they just hear the word "Clan" rather than assuming it referred to actual clans. :censored: white supremacists ruining perfectly good words.

For me, I don't know about Scottish clans. If I were to hear a "The" before the word clan/Klan, I'd think of the KKK. Otherwise, just hearing the word "clan" would make me think of just a general group of people. It's not a word that's in my vernacular, but that's my association with it.

 

That said, even that tangential connection, especially when you'd be referring to the team in a way like, "We beat The Clan in basketball," would bring that association without context.

 

Could SFU have gotten away with not changing the name? I feel like, from my vantage point in New Hampshire, that they totally could have. However, I don't know what kind of uproar there was or wasn't in western Canada for the nickname of an NCAA D2 institution. But, being able to get away with not changing the name and it being a prudent thing to do to change the name are different things. If they come up with a unique nickname, that would be awesome.

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53 minutes ago, Maroon said:

 

I guess something I've learned here from you and @BringBackTheVet is that far fewer people are just aware of Scottish clans. I guess as someone with Scottish heritage I just naturally associate the word with Scotland. I would have never imagined that other people's first thought would be to think of the KKK when they just hear the word "Clan" rather than assuming it referred to actual clans. :censored: white supremacists ruining perfectly good words.

Don't forget me and my limited awareness of Scottish clans.

 

As for the last part, it mirrors what happened to the R-word. People who claimed to be 'Native American' try to take this slur as a badge of honour. Well, it would have been if not for the newspapers back in the mid-19th century! What it's supposed to be a simple identification of Natives in general is now turned into a pejorative word used to refer to them doing bad things.

 

And sure, 90% of them won't give a single damn about it. But you'll still see other people who think the nickname is now an outdated, racial slur. Yet, when you look at the comments on Youtube about this issue, you won't know if the commenters in the comment sections are really Native American (or at least have ancestral blood to any Native tribes). At any point, it's probably racist white gammons pretending to be part of an ethnic group when they shouldn't be.

 

The difference between the Clan and the R-word is that the former has more than one meaning, while the latter just refers to one group of people. In a horrible way.

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  • 2 years later...

Ooof, how hard would it have been for them to go with one of the dozen or so Scottish-themed nicknames that were suggested in this thread?

 

Red Leafs is an awful choice. I'm sure there were trademark issues around "Maple Leafs", but Red Leafs sounds like something a person who's never heard of Canada would say when describing the flag.

 

It's been a bad couple of weeks for Canadian universities rebranding their sports teams.

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43 minutes ago, spartacat_12 said:

Ooof, how hard would it have been for them to go with one of the dozen or so Scottish-themed nicknames that were suggested in this thread?

 

Red Leafs is an awful choice. I'm sure there were trademark issues around "Maple Leafs", but Red Leafs sounds like something a person who's never heard of Canada would say when describing the flag.

 

It's been a bad couple of weeks for Canadian universities rebranding their sports teams.

I rather they call themselves the Unicorns and utilised that identity. Besides, if you look at a certain, a unicorn charging at you with its horns at full force is pretty horrifying.

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Initially, I was surprised no one pointed this out to them sooner, but then it clicked: American culture, specifically surrounding language, just wasn't hegemonic yet. The Klan isn't really a going concern in Canada nor a part of their history the way it is here. Even in a relatively Klan-free American state, calling a sports team "the Clan" would really be uncomfortable in a way I don't think it was in British Columbia until two summers ago.

 

"Red Leafs" is a pretty terrible nickname. It sounds like off-brand candy.

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14 hours ago, the admiral said:

"Red Leafs" is a pretty terrible nickname. It sounds like off-brand candy.

Yes, perfectly said. My first thought went to a 1940s-era brand of gum. One that probably tasted like licorice at first, before turning to regret. 

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4 hours ago, gosioux76 said:

Yes, perfectly said. My first thought went to a 1940s-era brand of gum. One that probably tasted like licorice at first, before turning to regret. 

 

I got sucked in by the retro packaging when I was in college and tried this stuff once . . . .once!

 

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On 9/6/2022 at 7:51 PM, the admiral said:

Initially, I was surprised no one pointed this out to them sooner, but then it clicked: American culture, specifically surrounding language, just wasn't hegemonic yet. The Klan isn't really a going concern in Canada nor a part of their history the way it is here. Even in a relatively Klan-free American state, calling a sports team "the Clan" would really be uncomfortable in a way I don't think it was in British Columbia until two summers ago.

 

"Red Leafs" is a pretty terrible nickname. It sounds like off-brand candy.

If I don't cut off my hand, I'm going to eat this entire $1.49 bag of Red Leaf gumdrops.

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Parts of me finds this whole thing hilarious. I grew up in the American south and we used to call Red Man chewing tobacco red leaf so now they are promoting the use of tobacco products?

 

Of course I'm not serious there, but folks can find issues with so many nicknames these days that it's pathetic and funny at the same time.

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  • 1 month later...
On 9/7/2022 at 9:35 AM, DEAD! said:

Shame they won't be able to play Toronto or Toronto Metro (formerly Ryerson). Because a "GO! LEAFS! GO!" chant would have been great there. 

Unless things have changed since my time at SFU, there wouldn't have been one regardless. The sports teams at SFU had next to no support. The dumbest thing they did was switching to the NCAA, as it ruined their chances of participating in half decent matchups between other Canadian schools for div 2 opponents.  The SFU-UBC crosstown rivalry game had some traction, same could have been with UofC, Alberta, Manitoba, etc.  However nobody wants to make the trek up Burnaby Mountain to see them lose decisively to the Lubbock Christian University Chapparals or Permian Basin Falcons.

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  • 3 weeks later...

How does this get botched so often? The Cleveland Guardians did it right... they found something uniquely Cleveland and were able to sell the new name on the basis of local pride that was more legit than the old name.

 

But in college especially, the trend seems to be to replace the old name with something so painfully generic that it defeats the purpose of getting rid of the old name, because the controversy remains.

 

With my first paycheck, I bought a Marquette Warriors basketball. They became the Golden Eagles a few months later. For as much as I think the "Warriors forever" crowd needs to get over it already, who the hell actually wants to take pride in being a Golden Eagle? Marquette's affiliated high school in Milwaukee is still the Hilltoppers, which was MU's original nickname. MU's old football team was the Golden Avalanche, which is incredibly unique and would take the piss out of any "MUH TRADITION" argument against getting rid of Warriors. But they decided Golden Eagles was the best option going forward?

That's how I feel about this. As much as I can understand the desire to get rid of the old name, they replaced it with something that basically amounts to "We're the Canadian schools that plays against the American schools.... go team!" Ugh...... 

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