I was watching the baseball game the other night so I missed it. I missed Bob Costas’ scolding sermon to the nation about the appalling fact that in 2013 we still have a sports team named the Redskins. I couldn’t agree more. In fact, now that Bob has broached the subject, there are a couple of other offensively named teams that need to be held to account.
You don’t have to be of Scandinavian descent to be offended by this violent marauding caricature of an entire ancient culture. Yes, the Vikings were known to raise a little hell back in the day (sorta like American Indians), but is this really a fair and wholesome way to honor an entire race of people? It would be one thing if the Vikings were a team from Arizona or Tennessee, but the team is in Minnesota for corn’s sake! Talk about rubbing their faces in it? Appalled doesn’t even begin to describe what the good people in Minneapolis must be thinking.
Then there’s this hideous affront to civility. Being of Irish heritage myself, this one hits close to home. Notre Dame’s Leprechaun mascot is possibly the second most racist symbol in America next to the Confederate flag, playing up as it does that most ancient slur, that of the Irishmen as drunken brawlers. Cannot the Irish be depicted as great poets, inspired musicians and dancers? Must it always be the Irish as undisciplined pugilists? Yes, I’m aware of the old adage about God creating whisky to keep the Irish from ruling the world, but this is 2013 and past time to overcome these hateful stereotypes.
So, preach it Bob. But I hope your next rant will include a little indignation for people of pallor. Surely Scandinavian and Irish Americans deserve better.