With a growing chorus in the nation’s capital calling for the Washington football team to change its racist name, why do the Stanley Cup champion Chicago Blackhawks get a free pass when it comes to their Indian head logo?
For all the ‘Hawks fans who will predictably jump forward to defend the logo as tradition and a “tribute” to Chief Black Hawk, how would Chicagoans feel if instead of a Native American/First Nation person’s facial profile on United Center’s center ice and sewn on the team’s jerseys, there was instead a Zulu warrior or an Orthodox Jew or a Chinese fisherman or a Mexican man wearing a sombrero?
None of these logos are acceptable in the year 2013, and neither is the Black Hawk.
There are a couple of ideas for replacement logos. One is some sort of military-themed logo since the team’s founder Frederic McLaughlin got the Blackhawks name from his time as a commander with the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division during World War I.
Another idea is changing the logo to an actual hawk, like the team’s mascot Tommy Hawk. There is even a Facebook page called “This Should Be the Blackhawks Logo!” that features a really cool bird rendering.
And how do First Nation people feel about the logo? Joe Podlasek of the American Indian Center told Chicago’s ABC 7 News during the 2010 Stanley Cup run that “the stance is very clear. We want the logo to change.”