Mascot names are changing

Mark Spensley
Off the Mark
Mark Spensley
Express Co-publisher

     Actually, changes have already happened and are well documented nationally and locally so there really is not too much I can pass on that you already haven’t heard about. But that sure won’t stop me from trying.

     Yesterday it was announced that an NFL franchise would be changing their iconic name and logo. That team is the Washington Redskins. A new name has not been selected yet. It will be interesting to see what they go with.

     Personally, I’m not sure how I feel about that. Race sensitivity is at an all-time high right now and I get that. But the trickle-down effect is hitting us from many different directions. Food brands have been deemed insensitive, sports teams are facing the same scrutiny and everywhere you look, history is being ignored trough the removal of statues and whatnot.

     Let us dive in to my favorite sports teams and see if any of them could face the same scrutiny of the Redskins.

     My favorites are the Cubs, Packers, Bulls and Blackhawks. Of the big four, the Chicago Blackhawks would be a team that will be scrutinized over their name and logo. I believe I read somewhere that the franchise was not considering making a change.

     I’ve always wondered if indeed the Indian heritage fretted over the use of what many deem insensitive names and logos?

     In the NBA, the Warriors would be one team that some may look at but a warrior could be a reference to many different facets.

     In the NBA, out of 30 teams, 10 use animals, birds or insects as their team name. It’s the one league that is least likely to see any changes.

     Hockey is the next sport to see the least amount of change. Of the 31 franchises, five of them use animals as their team mascot. Hockey has some of the better team names: Lightning, Avalanche, Wild, Predators, Hurricanes and Flames.

     Football teams have a couple of questionable team names too. I’ve already covered the Redskins, but another iconic franchise will have to answer their critics, the Kansas City Chiefs. Of the 32 NFL teams, 14 teams use animals as mascots. Don’t be surprised to see some heat come down on the Cleveland Browns, named after co-founder Paul Brown. That would be a stretch in my opinion.

     Baseball also has two organizations that will have to fight to keep their names, the Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. The Braves issued an announcement also saying they were sticking with their team name. Someone out there will also deem the Cincinnati Reds and New York Yankees as insensitive. Of the 30 MLB teams, eight teams use animals as mascots.

     Some team names are used in both leagues: The Rays in baseball and hockey, the Jets in football and hockey, the Panthers in football and hockey, the Giants in baseball and football, and Cardinals in both baseball and football.

     Several teams like to use the pirate theme: Starting with the Pirates, names also being used are the Raiders and Buccaneers. Maybe we could add the Vikings and Golden Knights to that category of marauders.  Religion is represented by the Saints, Angels and Padres. Throw in the Senators for the government.

     The Wild West has the Cowboys, Rangers, Oilers, Texans, Broncos, 49ers and all the Indian-related names. The beer industry has the Brewers and the Packers are there for the packing industry.

     After going through every professional organization, I’ve picked my favorite team name and my least favorite team name. Number one on that list is the Diamondbacks of Arizona. Number 123 on that list, the Maple Leafs of Toronto. A leaf? I just don’t get it.


Subscriber Login