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Chicago Blackhawks Won't Change Name, Promise Dialogue Instead

Critics say the team's name and logo play into racist stereotypes against Native Americans, including "the myth of the worthy adversary."

The Chicago Blackhawk's controversial logo is visible as St. Louis Blues' Kyle Brodziak (28) scores past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the third period of an NHL hockey game in 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri.
The Chicago Blackhawk's controversial logo is visible as St. Louis Blues' Kyle Brodziak (28) scores past Blackhawks goalie Corey Crawford during the third period of an NHL hockey game in 2017 in St. Louis, Missouri. (Jeff Roberson/AP Photo)

2020欧洲杯赛事CHICAGO — The Chicago Blackhawks will remain the Chicago Blackhawks, the hockey team announced Tuesday. Native American groups have but the NHL franchise said it celebrates the legacy of an important Native American leader, and promised to provide a platform going forward for "genuine dialogue with local and national Native American groups."

The announcement comes during a nationwide conversation on racism sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis on May 25. Amid what could be the , according to the New York Times, national brands, musical groups and other sports teams have all announced name changes or promised reviews.

2020欧洲杯赛事But the Blackhawks baseball team in pushing back against critics, though the Hawks admitted that "there is a fine line between respect and disrespect" and praised other teams for engaging in such discussions.

According to the team, the name is meant to honor Black Hawk, a Native American warrior who led members of the Sauk and Fox tribes into battle against United States soldiers in the early 19th century.

After the War of 1812, during which Black Hawk was made a brevet brigadier general in the British Army, he launched a war against the United States to retake tribal land in northwestern Illinois. Upon his defeat, Black Hawk was forced to tour the country as a captive to aid in a U.S. propaganda campaign against other Native tribes.

2020欧洲杯赛事Some critics say the continued use of Native imagery by sports teams, including the Blackhawks, is just a continuation of that propaganda campaign.

"The myth of the worthy adversary is more palatable than the reality — the conquered tribes of this land were not rivals but victims, cheated and impossibly outgunned," . "It is worse than denial; it is propaganda. ... In whatever measure (the name of a sports team) is a tribute to the dead, it is in greater measure a boost to our national sense of superiority."

The has also called for the retirement of American Indian mascots, "based on a growing body of social science literature that shows the harmful effects of racial stereotyping and inaccurate racial portrayals, including the particularly harmful effects of American Indian sports mascots on the social identity development and self-esteem of American Indian young people."

2020欧洲杯赛事In 2013, , "There is a consensus among us that there's a huge distinction between a sports team called the Redskins depicting native people as red, screaming, ignorant savages and a group like the Blackhawks honoring Black Hawk, a true Illinois historical figure."

2020欧洲杯赛事But last year, AIC ended its relationship with the team, saying that going forward it will only partner "with organizations that uphold our values."

"We see this as necessary to sustain a safe, welcoming environment for members of our community as well as protecting our cultural identity and traditions," the group said in a July 2019 statement.

The Blackhawks joined the National Hockey League in 1926 and got their name from owner Frederic McLaughlin, . McLaughlin was a commander in the 86th Infantry Division during World War I — a division nicknamed after Black Hawk.

Read the team's full statement below:

"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."

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