Because my dashboard is taking fancy to discussing racist sports teams, I may as well defend my pride and joy.
“Your favorite team is the Blackhawks”
Yes, yes it is.
“THAT IS SO FUCKING RACIST.”
Nah Fam. That organization is the furthest from racist. There’s a reason nobody bitches about them.
First off, what’s in a name?
The Chicago Blackhawks, formally styled as Black Hawks, weren’t named directly after Chief Black Hawk. Rather, the original owner of the franchise, Frederic McLaughlin, was a commander in the 333rd Machine Gun Battalion of the 86th Infantry during WW1, which was nicknamed the Blackhawk Battalion. This was nicknamed off the Chief for mentioned above, however, not directly. Yet, it was still styled as Black Hawk, until documentation showed that the Battalion spelling of the nickname was one word.
“It’s still racist. Look at the logo!”
Okay. Let’s look at the logo. Actually, why not an evolution of the logo? The wife of the owner, Irene, drew out the logo in black and white, in 1927, styling how the Saux tribe chiefs, where Chief Black Hawk was from, would have it. No exaggerated features, nothing mocking. Just a strong drawing. Now, 1936-1937, was absolutely racist. However, as seen, that logo lasted a year at most, and even for the time, where that kind of depiction was seen as okay, it was still removed, out of respect for the tribe and the namesake.
So, in the next generation of logo, we start seeing a more modern feel of the logo we know and love. The skin was given a more realistic color, as well as the hair and feather stylization. From there, extra additions were removed, the style was cleaned up a bit, bolded, and by 1965, the logo we are quite familiar with, was born.
No red skin, no goofy face, nothing obnoxious. Just a respectable and serious logo.
“BUT RACIST. APPROPRIATING CULTURE.”
At many sports games, when there is a Native American named team, you often hear drums beating, a warrior cry, perhaps a native mascot dancing around with a tomahawk, maybe fighting against the other mascot.
Go to a Hawks game. We play Chelsea Dagger. We have our signature air horn. Our players even have signature goal songs. There is nothing remotely taken from any Native American culture in our games.
“BUH THE LOGO-”
-is treated with the utmost respect. On the floor of the locker room, our lovely logo lays on the floor. If you step on it, you pay a fine of $10,000, donated directly to Native American charities. Try us. Not even Bieber was immune to this. Speaking of charities, the Wirtz family, the current owners of the franchise, is the largest donor to the American Indian Center of Chicago, which helps those of native and aboriginal decent in the state. That’s just one charity. Plus, as a bonus, for every game in the regular season and every round of the playoffs, there will always be a native veteran in watching, often standing for the national anthem on ice. It is because of everything mentioned above, the Blackhawks have nothing but respect in the eyes of those who grant them the moniker.
So, now that this was taken care of, when one of you guys inevitably tries to hop on a bandwagon to shit on the Chicago Blackhawks, you cannot claim ignorance in claiming that you don’t know the history of this logo and team. Take down teams that regularly diminish culture and history. Leave this team out of it.