Chicago Blackhawks make final decision on organizations name change

Published December 9, 2023 at 0:00

In the wake of increasing pressure on sports teams to reconsider names with perceived ''racial implications'', the Chicago Blackhawks of the NHL have decided to maintain their team name and logo. This decision follows the name change by the NFL's Washington Redskins to the Washington Commanders two years ago.

Facing scrutiny for the perceived connotations of their team name, the Blackhawks released a statement defending their choice shortly after the Redskins changed their name to the Commanders.

According to the team, the name honors a real-life Native American, Black Hawk of Illinois' Sac & Fox Nation. The statement emphasizes that the team's name and logo celebrate Black Hawk's legacy, serving as a source of inspiration for 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. As the team's popularity grew over the past decade, so did that platform and our work with these important organizations.»

The team's history dates back to 1926, and its name originated from owner Frederic McLaughlin, a World War I commander who served under the 86th Infantry Division, known as the "Blackhawk Division." The logo, largely unchanged since 1959-60, features a Native American head with a feather headdress and face paint.

«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 team said. «Moving forward, we are committed to raising the bar even higher to expand awareness of Black Hawk and the important contributions of all Native American people.»

Acknowledging the fine line between respect and disrespect, the Blackhawks commend other teams for engaging in conversations about their names but affirm their commitment to maintaining their identity. The team expresses a dedication to expanding awareness of Black Hawk and the contributions of all Native American people.

While the Chicago Blackhawks Foundation had previously collaborated with the American Indian Center of Chicago (AIC) to educate the public about American Indians, the AIC terminated the agreement in 2019, citing concerns about perpetuating harmful stereotypes.

As discussions around team names continue across sports leagues, the Chicago Blackhawks are opting to uphold their longstanding identity, emphasizing their commitment to promoting awareness and fostering respectful dialogue.
December 9   |   3244 answers
Chicago Blackhawks make final decision on organizations name change

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