The NFL’s Washington Redskins could find themselves with a new franchise name after FedEx officially requested a change, followed by owner Dan Snyder’s announcement that the consideration was underway.
But prior to this news, one major athletic publication wondered if one of the NHL’s Original 6 franchises should make a major change themselves.
Take a look at an excerpt from a piece put out in late June and see for yourself.
Heather Miller loves hockey and lives in Chicago. In a perfect world, the Blackhawks would be her favorite team, she’d be proud to wear their apparel and she’d passionately root for them.
That’s not her world.
Instead, Miller, who is an enrolled member of the Wyandotte Nation from Oklahoma, despises the Blackhawks. She strongly opposes their and other sports teams’ use of Native American imagery.
That’s especially significant for the Blackhawks because Miller is the current executive director of the American Indian Center in Chicago. She isn’t the person who cut the center’s ties to the Blackhawks a few years back, but she’s the one who plans to keep it that way.
Who is right? Who is wrong? Are the Blackhawks actually any different than the Redskins and other sports organizations that are more widely criticized?
“So in other words, unless all of the Native American people in Chicago and the Midwest with very few exceptions are against the Chicago Blackhawks using that name and logo, then the argument is somehow invalid?” Smith said. “So I think that’s kind of a trap. What I think is useful to think about is how this is part of a far, far bigger phenomenon and that what I wanted to avoid is being prescriptive. ‘OK, here are the rules. Here are the six points, and if you meet five of them, you should change the name.’ So I think it’s divided opinion.”
Of course, the Blackhawks are one of the premier franchises in the NHL and a storied one at that, having been one of the NHL’s Original 6 along with Detroit, New York, Boston, Toronto, and Montreal.
The team name originally from team owner Fred McLaughlin military service with the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division during World War I, which was named in honor of Black Hawk, a Native American from the Sauk tribe and a prominent figure in Illinois state history.
– – Quotes via Scott Powers of The Athletic Link – –