For more than 50 years, Simon Fraser University’s sports teams have played under the name The Clan, to honour the Scottish heritage of the school’s namesake.
But now, amid violent neo-Nazi marches in the United States, some professors and students are sounding the alarm that the name evokes a very different clan — the Ku Klux Klan.
Philosophy professor Holly Andersen has launched a petition to persuade the university to change the name, saying that the word “clan” sounds the same spelled with a “C” or a “K” and is associated with a horrible history.
She says SFU plays in the National Collegiate Athletic Association, a league dominated by U.S. teams, and it’s disrespectful to African-American competitors to force them to play against a team named The Clan.
Student wrestler Aliocha Perriard-Abdoh says the name once represent family to her but after reading the petition she believes the university should consider a change.
SFU spokesman Kurt Heinrich says the university is reviewing the situation and will consider what further steps, if any, might be taken to avoid possible misunderstandings related to the name.
The Canadian Press