There has been a lot of talk recently about changing the nicknames of several teams in professional sports. The Washington Redskins have been at the top of that list, followed by the Cleveland Indians and the Atlanta Braves. One team that hasn’t gotten a lot of attention is the NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks, whose logo resembles that of the Redskins. There’s a good reason why the Blackhawks will remain the Blackhawks.
Washington Redskins under fire
Team owner Dan Snyder once said he would never change the name of the Washington Redskins. Now it looks like he’s about to change the name of the Washington Redskins. With racial inequality dominating the news in recent months, Snyder has come under fire for the nickname. Although the nickname has been in existence since 1933, the demand for a change has heated up.
When George Floyd, a black man, died at the hands of a white police officer in Minneapolis on May 25, racial inequality was brought to the forefront. With that, came the topic of the Washington Redskins name that is viewed by many as a racial slur toward Native Americans. Several big-name companies such as Nike, Amazon, and FedEx threatened Snyder with financial implications. That quickly forced him into reconsidering the name change.
According to CBSSports.com, the Washington Redskins issued a statement on the potential name change. “In light of recent events around our country and feedback from our community, the Washington Redskins are announcing the team will undergo a thorough review of the team’s name,” the statement read in part. “This review formalizes the initial discussions the team has been having with the league in recent weeks.”
Other nicknames have been questioned
While the Washington Redskins have been the team that’s been most under scrutiny regarding a name change, others have also been questioned. According to Cleveland.com, Indians owner Paul Dolan said he plans to meet with members of various tribes. He also plans to speak with those involved with Native American interest groups.
The Cleveland Indians also recently put out a statement saying, “We are committed to making a positive impact in our community and embrace our responsibility to advance social justice and equality. Our organization fully recognizes our team name is among the most visible ways in which we connect with the community.”
The Atlanta Braves have also been brought up, but no changes seem in the works there. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the Braves will remain the Braves. “We are so proud of our team’s name, and our expectation is that we will always be the Atlanta Braves,” said Terry McGuirk, the Braves’ chairman. “I would say unequivocally the Atlanta Braves’ name will stay the Atlanta Braves.”
The Chicago Blackhawks won’t be changing their name
Despite having a logo that resembles that of the Washington Redskins, the Chicago Blackhawks have zero intentions of making a name change. Unlike the name ‘Redskins’ that is perceived as a racial slur by many, Blackhawks is a name that honors Black Hawk, a real-life Native American.
According to CNN, the Blackhawks addressed the situation through a statement. “The Chicago Blackhawks’ name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac & Fox Nation, whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans, and the public.
“We celebrate Black Hawk’s legacy by offering ongoing reverent examples of Native American culture, traditions, and contributions, providing a platform for genuine dialogue with local and national Native American groups. As the team’s popularity grew over the past decade, so did that platform and our work with these important organizations.”