RedBlacks can't win: Angolophones now upset with mascot name

The Ottawa RedBlacks announced the name of their new mascot at Elcole Elementarie Publique Kanata...

The Ottawa RedBlacks announced the name of their new mascot at Elcole Elementarie Publique Kanata in Ottawa On. Friday March 28, 2014. (Tony Caldwell/Ottawa Sun/QMI Agency)

TIM BAINES, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:22 PM ET

Really, it's a shame. French-English. English-French.

All over a mascot's name. Why, oh why, has this become a political issue?

On Monday, the Ottawa RedBlacks announced they were shortening their mascot's name from Big Joe Mufferaw to Big Joe and Grand Jos, following some backlash in the francophone community.

Big Joe Mufferaw was a name derived from a legendary French lumberjack, Joseph Montferrand. As the story goes, some English folks back in the day started calling him Mufferaw as an "easier" way to say the name. Montferrand's legend grew in theatre and in books -- and in songs by La Bolduc (Mary Travers) and Stompin' Tom Connors.

Avoiding any controversy is certainly in the RedBlacks' best interests, but now some anglophones are up in arms over the change.

"We always knew it would evolve into calling the mascot just Big Joe," said OSEG's president of sports Jeff Hunt. "Big Joe Mufferaw is a mouthful. He's still inspired by the character. People know how the name came to be.


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