News & Politics

Students Find University's 'Pioneer' Mascot 'Oppressive'

Image via Shutterstock, a young woman with a headache.

There’s literally nothing a college student somewhere in America won’t find offensive. The latest example comes from the University of Denver, where a group of Native American students are protesting the school’s “Pioneers” nickname because it represents “genocide and oppression.”

The school’s Native Student Alliance co-president, Raelene Woody, argued that the term is “associated with westward expansion, genocide, oppression, assimilation of Native American students.”

Now, I’ll grant her that the term “pioneer” is associated with westward expansion. That was kind of the point. They were pioneering the west and all that. But the rest? Seriously? Previously, we were told schools and sports franchises shouldn’t use Native American terms for their teams. Now we’re being told “Pioneers” is off-limits.

All that’s left are animal mascots. Will PETA be the next to get involved in this lunacy? After all, these are the same people who wanted to rename fish “sea kittens” so people would be less likely to eat them. To see them protest over the Cincinnati Bengals doesn’t seem that far of a stretch these days.

The truth is, you can find something objectionable about every group, every name, and every possible mascot out there. It wasn’t all that long ago when the name “Stallions” was protested as being sexist. Anything and everything can be “problematic,” to use a popular phrase with these folks.

However, sports should be about the contests themselves. If a mascot name has a racially charged history, let’s leave that part to history, stop being offended, and recognize that these are games. It’s a mark of our civilization’s greatness that we can get together and celebrate friendly competition and athletic achievement. Let’s look at that and rejoice, for a bloody change.

Instead, people get bent out of shape regarding every little thing — the less consequential, the better. I fully expect a group of Norwegian students to protest the Minnesota Vikings name any day now, and I’m not even joking. This is the world we live in.

This is the very definition of a “First World problem.” In some parts of our world, people are murdered for belonging to a different tribe. Here, some feel the need to protect the world from a mascot name.