CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks are bucking the trend of considering a name change.
The NFL’s Redskins and the MLB’s Indians have both announced that they will consider changing the teams’ names and logos to something more culturally appropriate.
But the Blackhawks will not.
The name and image of a Native American warrior will be staying but the team’s officials said they will be “raising the bar even higher” to raise awareness of Native American culture.
“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,” the team said in a statement according to the Chicago Sun-Times.
Team officials said they have worked with Native American groups “by offering ongoing reverent examples of Native American culture, traditions and contributions, providing a platform for genuine dialogue.”
While the team won’t be changing its name, it does not discount the decisions of other professional sports teams to reevaluate their names and logos, The Associated Press reported.
“We recognize there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation,” the team said.
The hockey team honors Native Americans with pregame and intermission events, the Sun-Times reported. But there have been some Native American groups that have said the name and logo continue racist stereotypes.
The Blackhawks, known as the Black Hawks, joined the NHL in March 1926 and was named by the owner Frederic McLaughlin after the unit he served with in World War I – the Blackhawk Division of the 86th Infantry, WMAQ reported.
The NHL season has been suspended due to coronavirus, but training camps are set to start July 13 with games resuming Aug. 1, the NHL announced Monday.