Changing the face of sports: Race-based mascots removed from the game

It’s been a long time coming, but last month the Wisconsin legislature passed a bill that allows racially insensitive mascots, logos, slogans and nicknames to be removed from public schools if deemed necessary.

Signed into law by Governor Doyle on May 5, the bill allows Wisconsin residents to object to racist mascots.  If the state superintendent believes that the mascot is, in fact, racially offensive, a hearing will be set up.  If the mascot is found to be in poor taste, the school will have one year to change the mascot and anything pertaining to it throughout their school.  If the school proves this change would bring “financial burden” to their district an extension of one or more years may be provided.

“I think this bill will help make the school a better place,” said junior Boye Ladd. “While I never personally felt attacked or disrespected, I think it will improve the attitudes of a lot of students.”

Former homecoming and pep club adviser Tina Gilbertson agrees.

“The changes this bill will make will really improve the atmosphere of the school,” said Gilbertson. “In the past we have always tried to take precautions to avoid stereotyping, even removing dress-up days to avoid upsetting community members.  With the removal of offensive mascots there will be a much more positive atmosphere at sporting events.”

“This is a great step forward for our community and state,” said Student Senate President Bronson Stein, “The Student Senate endorsed this bill two years ago, and is in full support of it.  This should make our school a better place.”