With the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians both discussing name changes to their organizations, the Chicago Blackhawks have been brought up in conversations about doing the same.
The Blackhawks have remained quiet on the talk about changing their name or mascot but that changed on Tuesday night. The team released a statement regarding the situation and revealed that they will not make any changes and will keep the name and logo. As part of the statement, the Blackhawks say they are committed to “expand awareness of Black Hawk and the important contributions of all Native American people.”
“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.
We celebrate Black Hawk’s legacy by offering ongoing reverent examples of Native American culture, traditions and contributions, providing a platform for genuine dialogue with local and national Native American groups. As the team’s popularity grew over the past decade, so did that platform and our work with these important organizations.
We recognize there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation.
Moving forward, we are committed to raising the bar even higher to expand awareness of Black Hawk and the important contributions of all Native American people.
We will continue to serve as stewards of our name and identity, and will do so with a commitment to evolve. Our endeavors in this area have been sincere and multi-faceted, and the path forward will draw on that experience to grow as an organization and expand our efforts.”
A statement was needed, especially during these times. Frederic McLaughlin named the franchise the Black Hawks when they joined the NHL in March of 1926, naming them after the unit he served with in World War I, which was named the “Blackhawk” Division of the 86th Infantry.
The Wirtz family then made a decision to shorten the name to “Blackhawks” in the 1980’s and have kept the name the same since.