Portland Winterhawks should spike team
I know it offends people, so I can wear that.”
(Randy L. Rasmussen)The Winterhawks are in the middle of a Western Hockey League playoff run. I say they have exceeded expectations despite dealing with heavy penalties from the league levied in 2012, including restrictions on draft picks. I love following the team and I support them but I can add a Winterhawks jersey, hat or t shirt to my collection of Timbers gear and wear it in public. The logo is too racist. I know it offends people, so I can wear that.
The warrior image on the jersey is not an accurate representation of what modern Native people are. They are not historical figures from the past. They don ride horses and live in teepees. They don always wear multi colored feathers on their heads. They don carry tomahawks. It been shown that inaccurate and negative media depictions have a harmful impact on Native students feelings about themselves and their community.
Why is this issue not in the Portland news, at all? I thought we were the “shining city on the hill?” At least that what it said on the Timbers tifo I saw raised above the crowd a few weeks ago. Does the current Major League Soccer campaign to “Show Racism the Red Card” not apply to Natives?
I would like to think that most Portlanders would agree that the Washington D. C ## ## . professional football team should change their name and mascot. Why is the Winterhawk image okay, but the Washington image racist? When will the people of Portland demand that the Winterhawks mascot be changed?
The Native image was adopted by the team because cast off Chicago Blackhawks jerseys were used after the Edmonton Oil Kings franchise was moved to Portland in 1976. They changed the name, so why can they change the image? The team has used non Native images of a “winter hawk” but those have only shown up on jerseys for limited periods. It would not be difficult to make the change permanent. Please include your email and phone number for verification.
If people demanded a change, I would anticipate that the Winterhawks franchise and some fans may use “tradition” or “legacy” to justify the continued use of the Native image. I imagine there would be some backlash from those who will call out the team for bowing to “politically correctness,” although that just sounds like people upset about losing their privilege to be racist with impunity.
The franchise would certainly be concerned about how any change would affect revenue but I can predict that. Perhaps those who oppose a new logo would be outnumbered by fans, new and old, that would seriously consider what that image means and approve of a change. I would like to think that is the case here in Portland.
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