About 15 years ago I was working the sports beat for McClatchy Newspapers in Merced, California. The state was making a hard push to prevent the state’s high schools from using “Redskins” or “Indians” as their mascot. Even schools with the generic terms “Warriors” were targeted whether or not there was any connection to anything Indian in the logo.
I wrote a column about it, stating my opposition to the move as being silly to begin with. Having covered schools on the Navajo, Hopi and Zuni Reservations in New Mexico and Arizona back when the original uproar over the NFL’s Washington Redskins erupted, I knew that most Native Americans could care less. In fact, I saw quite a few wearing Redskins gear and if asked, said they were fine with it and felt no disrespect.
But there was this small tribe no one has ever heard of in New York (I think) that threw a fit to get publicity – linked up with some non-American Indian extremists who are poised to drop to the ground and wail at a moment’s notice – and found kindred spirits in the state of Crazy, er, California.
One reply I got was that it was “just this one time. Just this one problematic mascot/name and that would be the end of it.”
I argued that it would merely be the tip of the iceberg. That once one attempt succeeded other groups would follow suit. Vikings, Irish, Cougars and Cowboys. No mascot, no nickname would be safe from some group that was going to be “offended” and wail about “muh feelz” until they got their way.
I was called crazy. I was called being melodramatic. That what I was saying would NEVER happen.
I’ll just drop this link for you to go read: Cowboys Slogan Protested
Never mind that nowhere does the slogan say the world needs more white cowboys, or cowboys of any specific race, color or gender.
The Forever-Three-Years-Old crowd is in full hissy fit mode. Hopefully, the University of Wyoming will stand firm against the Tantrum Throwers. It’s a pity we can’t give them all a proper spanking. They might actually get around to growing up.
In the meantime, I’m putting the over/under at the start of football season before we see calls to change the University’s mascot to something “less-offensive and more inclusive.” ESPN and the other networks will have in-depth stories by their reporters about the horrible injustice of the “Cowboys” mascot before every Wyoming game is shown. A committee of people who haven’t played a single second of sports or even visited the state will be formed to come up with the new mascot.
The University of Wyoming Gaia’s Children Maintenance Persons, perhaps?