The Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League, sparked controversy over the unveiling of the team’s new mascot late last week. Critics of the new mascot are calling it offensive to Middle Eastern people, according to the Canadian Press.
The mascot in question? A man closely resembling an individual of middle eastern decent. In addition, the mascot was adorned with what resembles a traditional middle eastern headdress.
A potential connection to the controversy in Prince Albert, would be Coachella Valley High School in California changed its team name amid pressure from anti-discrimination groups. The team had been previously known as the Arabs, but later changed to the Mighty Arabs and retired its mascot which was called “stereotypical.”
A flood of tweets bombarding social media after the “Boston Raider” was revealed, has deemed the mascot has incredibly racist. Needless to say, many people are angry and offended by the newly designed mascot.
- Sean Gentille ✔ @seangentille
Remember simpler times, when all mascots did was joke about killing firefighters? http://www.sportingnews.com/nhl/story/2014-10-14/adirondack-flames-mascot-scorch-glen-falls-fire …
@seangentille It’s okay. It’s not a new racist mascot, just an update of their old racist mascot, so it’s all good.TV’s Brent @TVsBrent Follow
“I have a great idea for a mascot for our hockey team” “Is it blatantly and horribly racist?” “Yes it is” “LETS DO IT”Hussan, S.K. @hussansk Follow
Racist, islamophobic hockey mascot gets a makeover. And not for the better. http://sports.nationalpost.com/2014/11/18/prince-albert-junior-hockey-teams-new-mascot-depicting-arabian-raider-offensive-to-middle-eastern-people-critics-say/
One thing is for certain, this type of mascot would never fly in the United States given the outcry over mascots that resemble Native American peoples, or symbols. And it looks as though Canada may be taking the same approach in drawing lines where cultures and cultural symbols are simply off limits for mascots now regardless of how it may have been intended.
The WHL club has not yet indicated if they will be keeping the new mascot or not, but maintained that they do not believe it is offensive.