With the recent announcement that Major League Baseball’s Indians will be abandoning their “Chief Wahoo” logo, which has long been steeped in controversy, many are wondering if other teams will follow suit. Notre Dame has often been criticized for being called the Fighting Irish and for their Leprechaun mascot, and some think they should be next to make a change.
When asked if Notre Dame should change their mascot and team name, “The answer,” according to Max Kellerman, and ESPN host, “is yes.”
Kellerman made the declaration during “First Take,” an ESPN morning debate show that he co-hosts with Stephen A. Smith.
However, Kellerman did note that “many Irish-Americans are not offended” by the name or logo associated with Notre Dame, though he did add, “But many are.”
“Pernicious, negative stereotypes of marginalized people that offend even some among them should be changed,” said Kellerman. “It’s not that hard.”
Brian Kenny, an MLB Network host who formerly worked for ESPN, is the son of an Irish immigrant and tweeted out his support of Kellerman’s assertions. Kenny referred to the mascot as “an embarrassment” and stated, “It paints us as a bunch of foolish, drinking, fighting, singing, dancing, & lying gnomes.”
Kenny sent out a follow-up tweet, saying, “People are actually arguing for Chief Wahoo, by bringing up use of Leprechauns. You know what? Leprechaun cartoons are subhuman and offensive, and are used to keep us ‘in our place.’”
He added, “So, yes, bag them too.”
According to a report by Fox News, Notre Dame officially adopted “Fighting Irish” as the school’s nickname in 1927, although stories, which remain unconfirmed, suggest it was used as far back as the late 1890s and early 1900s.
On Wednesday, MLB announced that the Cleveland Indians players would no longer sport the Chief Wahoo logo on their uniforms starting with the 2019 season, though the image may remain on some merchandise.