When is it going to stop? There are understandable debates over the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians. Both team names could be seen as derogatory to Native Americans. It’s been a long-standing debate around the sports world.
Whether we agree with that really isn’t the point. Some have simply taken this whole thing too far. Remember when high schools around the United States were forced to change team mascots from cougars because it was seen as derogatory to the older female population? Yeah, that was about as absurd as it gets.
There’s now a petition on Change.org to remove the LSU Tigers mascot from existence because it is “racist” and somehow represents the attitude of the old Jim Crow south.
“Louisiana State University named their mascot the Tigers, and they named it during the height of Jim Crow South. This was a time when black men feared for their lives, and were treated as sub human. This symbol is the most prevalent confederate symbol in the United States,” the petition read.
The Louisiana Tigers was the name of the ninth infantry in the Confederate States Army during the Civil War. Among other battles, they took to the war at the Gettysburg Campaign and the Battle of Fredericksburg under the guise of the Hays’ Brigade.
“These powerful white males choose the Tiger as a symbol to honor a confederate regiment called Louisiana’s Tigers,” the petition continued. “They were known for their propensity for violence on and off the battle field. They were just as violent to the black slaves they owned, and later even more violent once those slaves were set free.”
Sure this unit was seen as violent, but the entire war itself wasn’t exactly a picnic in the park. It remains the deadliest war in terms of American casualties in the history of this country. It’s also part of the fabric of this nation. The history of this nation.
There’s a larger debate raging about the decision of Louisiana authorities to remove Confederate monuments from the state. Of course, that’s going to be a hot-button topic. Whether we like it or not, southerners do have a sense of pride in their region.
More to the point here.
The LSU mascot is nothing more than a tiger. You know, the animal. It’s a sign of strength and brute. It’s a perfect mascot for a college football team.
If we were to then somehow conclude that the mascot being an animal is racist, where would that leave the Detroit Tigers of the Major League Baseball world and other teams that use the same mascot?
As of Friday afternoon, the petition had garnered 561 signatures out of a goal of 1,000. It will surely be interesting to see how far this campaign goes.