For some time now, there’s been significant debate regarding sports teams and their logos. Some have been placed under the spotlight of scrutiny much more often than others with the NFL’s Washington Redskins, MLB’s Cleveland Indians and NHL’s Chicago Blackhawks leading the charge as those most often discussed.
Recently, however, the spotlight was placed on a Canadian junior team from Thorold, Ontario – the Thorold Blackhawks. The Blackhawks – who’ve been around for more than two decades – have been a discussion point for the city’s mayoral staff for more than three years.
On Thursday, the St. Catherines Standard reported that Thorold’s mayor – Ted Luciani – made the decision to call out the Junior B team and their logo explaining that any team sporting the First Nations caricature would be banned from playing in Thorold arenas.
— Scott Rosts (@ScottRosts) August 17, 2016
“The City of Thorold, as represented by Council, shares the belief that the logo is discriminatory in nature,” Luciani wrote to the team’s owners according to the Standard. “The city also believes that its continued use is a form of harassment.”
The city has given the team a deadline of June 1, 2017 to make changes to their logo (and their name if necessary). But the team believes the deadline may not be a realistic one.
“Every kid that plays, of the 400 kids we have, has a jacket, has a toque, has a track suit, warm-up gear, pants, helmets, all that stuff. The logo’s on everything. It’s not just hockey jerseys that have to be changed, it’s the whole brand,” said the Thorold Amateur Athletic Association President Gene Citrigno to the Standard.
The cost of the change is estimated to be $100,000 – a hurdle the association will certainly face in meeting the June 1 deadline. Meanwhile, the team has said that it has already paid to have a new logo created.
Andrew is in his 8th year reporting for The Hockey Writers covering the Toronto Maple Leafs. He began his broadcasting with CBC’s Hockey Night in Canada team as well as being part of their coverage of the 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi. He’s the former play-by-play voice of the London Jr. Knights for Rogers TV and currently hosts the Sticks in the 6ix podcast. You can follow him on Twitter at @AndrewGForbes.