Chicago’s NHL team says it will not change its nickame or logo because both pay tribute to the person for whom the club is named.
The Blackhawks said in a statement Tuesday (per the Chicago Sun-Times) that the team name honors Black Hawk, a member of Illinois’ Sac & Fox Nation, “whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public.”
“‘We celebrate Black Hawk’s legacy by offering ongoing reverent examples of Native American culture, traditions and contributions, providing a platform for genuine dialogue with local and national Native American groups,” the team added.
Black Hawk died in 1838, almost 90 years before Chicago entered the NHL in 1926. The team’s original owner, Frederic McLaughlin, named the squad after his U.S. Army unit in World War I, the 86th Infantry Division, aka the Blackhawk Division. The division itself was named for Black Hawk.
N’s NAME CHANGE OPTIONS FOR . . . Redskins | Indians
The Blackhawks’ announcement came amid recent calls for other professional sports franchises, notably the NFL’s Redskins and MLB’s Indians and Braves, to change their nicknames. The Redskins are exploring a name change after public pressure from sponsors and one of the team’s owners. The Indians likewise are looking at options. The Braves are not considering a new name (per The Athletic), but they may consider not initiating the Tomahawk Chop chant.
There has been much less clamor for the NFL’s Chiefs and NBA’s Warriors to change their names.
“We recognize there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation,” the Blackhawks said in their statement.
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