The Chicago Blackhawks will keep their name and logo, but are committed to “expand awareness” of Native American people.
The team’s statement Tuesday comes four days after the NFL’s Washington Redskins and MLB’s Cleveland Indians announced they’d review their Native American-based names and logos. On Saturday, the MLB’s Atlanta Braves gave no indication they were considering making a similar change, according to The Associated Press.
The Blackhawks’ statement can be read in full below, courtesy of Scott Powers of The Athletic:
“The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes 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.
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.
We recognize there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation.
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 organization and expand our efforts.”
In 1926, the team’s owner Frederic McLaughlin chose the NHL franchise’s name after serving in World War I in the U.S. Army’s 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry Division, which was nicknamed the Blackhawk Division after Black Hawk. The personnel in the division were from the Midwest, where Black Hawk defended his tribe.
McLaughlin, however, did not adopt the division’s logo but went with a design by Irene Castle, whom was married to McLaughlin. To learn more about the history on the name and logo, read Powers’ story on them.
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