Ottawa's new basketball team could be dropping its TomaHawks name, less than a day after its unveiling raised concerns with Ottawa's aboriginal community.
The team, part of the fledgling nine-team National Basketball League of Canada, unveiled the name at Ottawa's city hall on Tuesday afternoon.
Bytown Sports and Entertainment, the owners of the team, say they took the name from a type of slam dunk in basketball, and not from the fighting axe used by First Nations people.
But it wasn't long after the announcement that people on Twitter and other social messaging forums called the name racist and offensive.
"It sets Ottawa back almost thirty years, when the NCAA is on its way to remove names like this. Here we are starting new teams with names like Tomahawk, it's...it's backwards," said Ian Campeau, an Ottawa aboriginal and a DJ with Ottawa musicians A Tribe Called Red.
Team co-owner Gus Takkale said on Tuesday First Nations groups were consulted beforehand.
"I want to make sure I'm clear with everybody, this is the name that we have, it's a tomahawk dunk with no intended native reference, and that's clear," said Takkale.
But an official at Bytown Sports and Entertainment told CBC News on Wednesday morning that the team is now considering changing the name.
The team's inaugural season is to begin in November at Scotiabank Place. The league also features teams from Windsor, London, Oshawa, Montreal, Moncton, Saint John, Halifax and Summerside.
Oh come on. The bloody team is named after an AXE! How the hell is this 'racist'. Keep the name, then educate others that the team is named after a tool.