Blackhawks stand by team name amid scrutiny

The Blackhawks logo is seen during NHL action in Winnipeg, Dec. 19, 2019.Kevin King / Winnipeg Sun / Postmedia Network / Files

The Blackhawks logo is seen during NHL action in Winnipeg, Dec. 19, 2019.Kevin King / Winnipeg Sun / Postmedia Network / Files

The Chicago Blackhawks have no intention to put their team name on ice.

As the NFL’s Washington Redskins and MLB’s Cleveland Indians consider changes to their names and logos, which critics say demean Native Americans, the Blackhawks issued a statement to the Chicago Sun-Times on Tuesday night defending their name and intent.

“The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolises an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac & Fox Nation, whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public,” the team’s statement began, according to the Sun-Times.

“We celebrate Black Hawk’s legacy by offering ongoing reverent examples of Native American culture, traditions and contributions, providing a platform for genuine dialog 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 organisations.”

In recent years, the franchise has invited Native American groups to games for pregame ovations and in-game performances. A section on the team’s official website is devoted to the “legacy of Black Hawk.”

Yet some Native American groups consistently have criticised the Blackhawks, whose mascot is named Tommy Hawk.

“We recognise there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation,” the team’s statement continued. “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.

“We will continue to serve as stewards of our name and identity, and will do so with a commitment to evolve. Our endeavors in this area have been sincere and multi-faceted, and the path forward will draw on that experience to grow as an organisation and expand our efforts.”

Washington’s NFL team announced Friday it was conducting a “thorough review” of its name, with expectations of a change perhaps before the regular season starts in September. Cleveland’s MLB team announced later that day that it would “determine the best path forward with regard to our team name.”

For any of the gonad lickers out there that feel Chicago should change their name, look up Everett Sanipass. Then apologise to me. Then shut up. And, by the way, stop calling teams the “Orangemen”. As a proud Presbyterian that annually celebrates the Glorious Twelfth, I am honestly offended by the cultural appropriation of that name.