The Moose Jaw Warriors were hit with a bit of a backlash this past week after they unveiled their plans to wear a throwback uniform for the 2014-15 season, their 30th in the junior Western Hockey League.
The uniform features a logo used by the club during the 1980s, a Native American wielding a tomahawk and holding a hockey stick while riding on a a sled with carvings.
“The issue is the stereotype: the jersey depicts a caricature of an Aboriginal person,” Barb Frazer, chair of the Cultural Diversity Advisory Committee, said in an interview with the Moose Jaw Times-Herald. “It’s cartoon-like. It’s a cartoon of a native man wielding a tomahawk, and it misrepresents a dynamic culture.”
Today, the Moose Jaw Warriors released a statement clarifying their use of the logo next season via their official Facebook page.
The logo on the 30th anniversary jersey is NOT the Warriors official logo for the hockey club’s celebratory 30th anniversary season. The logo on the jersey is the hockey club’s original logo worn in the team’s inaugural season in Moose Jaw in 1984. The use of the team’s original logo is in celebration of the Warriors 30 years in the WHL and is about honoring [sic] our history.
The 30th anniversary jersey will be worn by the hockey club on a LIMITED basis during the 2014-15 WHL regular season ONLY.
It’s an interesting new debate in the Native American mascot battle — it seems that most people agree (and there are those who strongly disagree) that a name like Washington Redskins, or a logo like the Cleveland Indians’ “Chief Wahoo” just aren’t acceptable anymore and need to be replaced. But what about a temporary throwback uniform? When “Wahoo” is retired permanently are the Cleveland Indians never to wear the logo again even for a one-time “Turn Back the Clock” game?
This is where we are with this Moose Jaw Warriors debate, I’m curious to see which way it goes. So far it seems the Warriors are sticking with their plans to wear the uniform for a handful of games in 2015.
What are your thoughts? Is an offensive logo offensive regardless of how it’s used and should never be worn, or is it okay as a “rarely used now-and-then” to honour the history of a team?