It started with hockey.
The playoffs are in full swing and with this, the NHL is taking up prime real estate on ESPN's Bottom Line.
I've always maintained that the NHL has the weirdest mascots.
Montreal Canadiens - We already know you're Canadian. And French.
Pittsburgh Penguins - Watch out for the cuddly penguin!
Minnesota Wild - What are you, trees? A untouched landscape? Wild rice? I'm confused.
Nashville Predators - Thanks to NBC, all I can picture are pedophiles on skates.
Regardless, there was one that struck me, in which I subconsciously pocketed into the group of racist mascots: Chicago Blackhawks.
I remember, at a young age, really starting to learn what it is to be politically correct. And even in my short 25 years, the P.C. category is always evolving and changing. I grew up in rural Nebraska, where reservations for Native Americans are a commonality. I attribute this to knowing when someone is verging on racism. And if you haven't guessed, this racism is so widely accepted in professional sports.
The professional teams that come to mind in this respect are the aforementioned Chicago Blackhawks, Cleveland Indians, and, naturally, the Washington Redskins.
It's hard to believe that, even in 2014, America has allowed blatant racism toward Native Americans. I understand the history and decades some of these mascots hold, but there is no excuse. Get rid of the Native American in warpaint, the Indian with burning red skin, and, well, both from the latter.
I see an opportunity here. The power of design can change the feel of something completely. I'll give you a few examples.
Take the Atlanta Braves. Their mascot and branding are related to Native American culture, yet they emphasize the Tomahawk (and the chop!) And no one bats and eye because a tool is not racist.
The Golden State Warriors moved from Philly to California and updated their branding to have the iconic San Francisco Bay bridge. Warriors is a Native American cultural term and, again, not offending anyone.
The Kansas City Chiefs' branding focuses on the arrow head and who is that upsetting? No one, that's who.
I get it. Re-branding as a professional sports franchise is not only time consuming, but also pricey. But something as simple as a logo change could appease the race argument for owners, players, and spectators alike. And I'm pretty sure last time I checked, the NBA bans you for life for being racist. Ahh, the power of design.
As far as the Redskins go, however, I can't really see a way to un-racist that. So, good luck.
I included a few logo options for Cleveland and the Redskins.
The Cleveland Businessmen
I decided that Cleveland has more of a businessman population that a Native American population, so why not do an ode to their city? And I'm sure they could get some sort of businessman's special.
The Washington Dream Catchers
Still tied to the culture, just much more pleasant, don't you think?