Chicago Blackhawks insider Scott Powers of The Athletic recently put together an article on showing everything that goes into both sides of the argument involving the team logo. As you know, the Hawks logo has been controversial since 1926 when the Chicago Tribune announced the creation of a local hockey team. As Powers points out, the Blackhawks’ logo debate has never reached the levels of the Redskins and Indians, but it has gotten more scrutiny since the tragic death of George Floyd. The focus has been largely been on systemic racism and oppression against Black people, but the dialogue has expanded to other races and issues, including the Indigenous experience in hockey and the appropriateness of Native American imagery.
The debate got more intense when the Washington Redskins in the National Football League have gotten a lot of heat over the several past years and on Friday, the club announced that it is undergoing a thorough review of the team’s name. It did not take long for fans to wonder if the same thing will take place in the National Hockey League, with the Blackhawks. Earlier this month, the franchise announced that it will keep their name and logo but are committing to “raising the bar even higher” in their efforts to increase awareness of Native American culture, according to a team statement.
On Wednesday, they made the announcement that they look to raise the bar even higher for our ongoing dialogue with local and national Native American groups and have decided to that headdresses will be prohibited for fans entering Blackhawks-sanctioned events or the United Center when Blackhawks home games resume.
“Today, we also want to share that the Blackhawks are building a platform that will further integrate Native American culture and storytelling across our organization - from broader community engagement and front office staff education to an increased presence within our game presentation, around our arena and across all of the team’s digital channels. Education will be our beacon, and these efforts will continue to honor Native American contributions to our society, including Black Hawk’s legacy, as well as showcase that those achievements are not limited to history books and museums but thriving right now within our military, business, the arts and more.”
The Hawks are clearly devoted to keep this dialogue alive and look forward to seeing fans getting involved in different ways for games to come.