Where's the Blackhawks logo outrage?

The debate about the Washington Redskins' name has been a hot issue for a while, and for good reason. Yet it seems strange the Blackhawks are getting a free pass.

I'm not about to say the Blackhawks logo is worse than the Redskins', a name that is unquestionably a slur and shouldn't have a place in sports, or life. I even understand how people don't take exception to the logo. But it's not about degrees of wrongness. It's about being wrong.

The Blackhawks were named after the original owner's infantry division in World War I, nicknamed the Black Hawk division, which was named after the Native American leader. Even at its inception, the name wasn't meant to honor Native Americans. Yet the symbol they went with was a Native American in face paint. For a team that prides itself on the national anthem, there's a disconnect by being named loosely based on a man who fought against the U.S. and for his people on multiple occasions.

The problem with naming a team after a person or people is that one image is picked to represent all aspects of that group of people. And the grin on the Blackhawks logo's face makes him look dumb and submissive. With the team being played in a country that has systematically decimated those very people, it feels wrong.

I know the Hawks have a loose relationship with the Native American community in Chicago.

But let's be honest. It's more about PR, for this very point, for this very column. And to their credit they don't have a tomahawk chant (although they do play stereotypical drum beats), and making Tommy Hawk a hawk was a nice touch. Yet some fans wear face paint and feathers, as depicted on the team logo.

Simply put, if there were a new hockey team starting in Chicago, you couldn't use a similar logo. So why keep it?

While the Hawks have beautiful jerseys, a simple logo change would fix all the problems. They could move toward the bird idea and even keep the name, the color schemes, everything. After all, most fans even refer to the team as the Hawks.

There are definitely worse things to worry about. But while the conversation is ongoing about the Redskins, it would be wrong to not at least consider the issue. The Hawks would lose some tradition, but anytime the excuse for continuing tradition is tradition itself, it needs to be reconsidered.

Scott Bolohan is a RedEye special contributor. @scottbolohan

Want more? Discuss this article and others on RedEye Sports' Facebook page

Copyright © 2015, RedEye
Related Content
  • How the Bulls and Hawks do Halloween

    How the Bulls and Hawks do Halloween

    Ah, Halloween. A day when everyone gets to tap into their inner child. The Bulls and Blackhawks love it just as much as the rest of us. They also seem to love chocolate, and really, who can blame them? As you might imagine, it wasn't difficult getting them to spill the details on their Halloween...

  • 75 hours to '17 Seconds': Inside the Blackhawks movie

    75 hours to '17 Seconds': Inside the Blackhawks movie

    In the coming days, fans will get a fresh look at the Blackhawks' run to their second Stanley Cup in four seasons. "17 Seconds" debuts at Navy Pier on Wednesday to an invitation-only audience, and details regarding a limited run are forthcoming.

  • Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    Bold predictions for Lolla 2015

    The Lolla schedule is sort of like the NCAA tournament: there are millions of possible combinations, and it’s anyone’s guess what the winning picks will be. With that in mind, we make some bold predictions about how this year’s fest (returning to Grant Park Fri.-Sun.) will turn out. Breakout artist...

  • 2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    2010 killing of Chicago cop detailed at trial; man claims self-defense

    The man on trial in the killing of Chicago police Officer Thor Soderberg hated police and surprised the officer as he changed out of his uniform at shift end and placed his duty belt down, a Cook County prosecutor alleged Monday.

  • Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Aldermen to hold hearing on untested rape kits

    Chicago aldermen on Monday called on police officials to provide information on how quickly rape kits are being tested by the state crime lab, part of a largely symbolic effort to determine whether a large backlog is hampering work to apprehend rapists.

  • Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    Alderman's 'Chi-raq' criticism falls flat

    A South Side alderman's effort to tweak filmmaker Spike Lee for using "Chi-raq" as the title for a movie about Chicago violence fell flat Monday with his colleagues.

  • ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    ComEd to hold energy fairs to help low-income customers

    Commonwealth Edison will hold energy fairs at satellite locations across the region Monday in order to get money to thousands of people struggling to pay their electricity bills in northern Illinois.

  • PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    PAWS Chicago "Muttshots!"

    These adorable pups are on the loose looking for a place to call home. They have a warrant out for their arrest. Their crime? Being irresistibly cute and cuddly. If you're interested in adopting any of these dogs, please visit for more information.