Chicago Blackhawks Will Retain Name, Logo, Team Says

WBBM Newsradio Staff
July 07, 2020 - 8:17 pm

Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports

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CHICAGO (WBBM Newsradio) — The Chicago Blackhawks said Tuesday the team will retain its name and logo as other professional sports organizations signal plans to move away from Native American branding.

The NFL’s Washington Redskins and MLB’s Cleveland Indians last week indicated they will begin considering alternative names and logos. This comes as the U.S. wrestles with its history of mistreating minority groups, including indigenous people displaced by white settlers.

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In a statement issued Tuesday, the Blackhawks noted their name refers to a historic individual, Black Hawk of the Sac & Fox Nation in Illinois.

“We recognize there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation,” the Chicago team said.

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“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.”

Critics have said the Blackhawks logo perpetuates negative stereotypes of Native Americans. 

The team's complete statement:

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.