A Love of Team, But Not of Logo - NBC Chicago

A Love of Team, But Not of Logo

Some Native Americans would like to see Blackhawks change their logo



    The support that many Native Americans are feeling toward the Chicago Blackhawks doesn't always extend to the team's logo, and many are hoping the increased attention on the team will lead to more respect for the man behind the mascot.

    Chief Black Hawk was a leader of the Sauk American Indian tribe who in 1832 led a band of warriors against settlers in Illinois who'd claimed their land.

    "With Black Hawk in particular, people don't understand who Black Hawk was, why he's a hero for us, and what battles he was fighting," said Megan Bang, the Director of Education for the American Indian Center on Chicago's North Side. "This man lived and died for our right to exist."

    Just as years of protests led to the University of Illinois to retire its Chief Illiniweck logo in 2007, many believe the Blackhawks' logo perpetuates stereotypes about Native Americans.

    "It's disrespectful to our culture, to our pride, to who we are as a people," said the center's director, Joe Podlasek.

    Native American City Fox-Starr calls herself a huge Blackhawks fan and proudly wears the jersey but says the logo is like "nails on chalkboard."

    She said she'd like to see the Blackhawks organization use the mascot as a learning tool.

    "I hope the Blackhawks will spend some time educating the team, the owners, but not only them but also the general public," she said.

    In the long run, the Native Americans said they'd like to see the Blackhawks use a different logo.

    SportsLogos.net:  The History of Chicago Blackhawks Logos