February 27, 2013
Ottawa basketball team's TomaHawks name scrapped after outcries of racism

Ottawa TomaHawks president Gus Takkale. (TONY CALDWELL/QMI Agency)

OTTAWA - So long TomaHawks.

Only hours after announcing the name of the newest franchise in the National Basketball League of Canada on Tuesday, the team decided to scrap its name after public outcry that TomaHawks might have perceived racist undertones.

Team president Gus Takkale said a new name will be chosen as soon as possible.

"I'm not blaming anybody," Takkale said. "I take full ownership."

He said prior to launch he spoke with a few Native "individuals" to get some sense of how the public would feel about the name. A combination of positive responses and his own attraction to the name is what made him decide to go with it.

Takkale said he had written to Native groups but still hadn't received any guidance or replies.