Posted by Mark J. Miller on June 6, 2011 03:30 PM
The NFL has its Kansas City Chiefs and Washington Redskins. Major League Baseball has its Atlanta Braves and Cleveland Indians. And the state of Wisconsin has the Osseo-Fairchild High School Chieftains.
Team names that have been deemed offensive have been finding protests against them in many forms over the years, many have stuck by their brands. While those professional sports teams pack some powerful brandage, high school sports have their own special power on a local level, and Chieftains past and present are feeling it a little extra these days.
All schools in the Badger State that have a team name or mascot that has been deemed offensive must change the name or mascot before July 27. A state legislator, Republican Mary Lazich, is attempting to extend that time frame till November of 2012 in order to help schools deal with any costs involved, according to Wisconsin radio station WEAU.
"Lazich’s bill does only one thing really and that's to allow schools to discriminate for a little bit longer," says local Harvey Gunderson, according to the station’s website.
But not all of the local residents agree: "It's something that's been with our school a very long time. It’s been there for generations. I was a Chieftain and now my kids are so I would like to see it stay," says Tammy Featherly, the station reports.
The school does not plan on waiting till 2012 to make the change, the station reports, and will let students pick a new mascot in the fall.
A recent article in Diverse Issues in Higher Education chronicles how Southeast Missouri State University made such a smooth transition from using the Indians as a mascot to the Redhawk that it actually brought the community closer together than it had been before.