The world of sports has always faced controversies ranging from vulgar remarks by fans to offensive makeups during the showdown since the 1960s. However, as the world evolves, there have been multiple changes that have been made to decrease these instances. Our reviewers did in-depth research and came up with some of the top 10 sports fans who have been offended by the team's name, mascot and/or branding. In fact, some of the offended fans took the initiative to publicly condemn some acts that saw teams change their logos, names, and even mascot to placate them. Others even had to take the step to keep their endorsements and maintain their deals.
Unknowingly, The Coachella Valley High School Arabs has been offending its fans with the name, which is considered a slur to the Arab community. According to the high school football team's history, the name of the football team was supposed to complement the Arabs for their contribution to the heritage and economy of Coachella Valley. However, that was not the case, according to some groups of people who found the name to bear discriminatory remarks.
It was the same case with the football team's mascot, which was a middle eastern cartoon with a white scarf and a hooked nose. The mascot also had a devilish beard that was supposed to represent the Arab's beard style. After objection by an anti-discrimination group, the school decided to change the name to Mighty Arabs. They also retired the mascot whom they have rallying behind for years in a bid to unite the community, fans, and students.
SBU or The St. Bonaventure University had been referring to their football team as the Brown Squaws for years. That is after a fan noted that the name shockingly refers to the female private parts in Senecan. Seneca is an Iroquoian language that a small group of people used in New York State. The news was shocking to many since no one would have thought that the name was offensive.
After verifying the claims, the team decided to change its football team name from The St. Bonaventure University Brown Squaws to St. Bonaventure Bonnies. Also, they changed their Mascot to the bona wolf, according to the school's main website. The wolf preceded Bona fanatic, which was considered less appealing and somehow boring. Apparently, The Bonnies, as they are currently referred to, has no hidden meaning or any exciting story. It is simply the short form of the University's name St. Bonaventure.
For years, McGill used the name Redmen for all its male varsity athletics teams. Initially, the name and use of the red hair was meant to pay tribute to James McGill, the founder of McGill University in Montreal, Canada. However, due to modernity and current cultural and political sensitivity, the name started seeming offensive. That is because it is widely used to refer to the Indigenous groups of people in North America. It is one of the most famous names most sports teams have been trying to distance themselves from since the rise in cultural awareness.
After issuing an announcement, the principal Suzanne Fortier, went ahead to dissociate the name 'Redmen' from every male varsity sports team. While still figuring out the best name for the male sports teams in the University, the male athletics team went by the name 'The McGill' throughout the following season.
San Diego State University Aztecs is yet another sports team that faced backlashes over the years due to their name and mascot. Unlike most sports teams, the Aztec was not just considered culturally inappropriate but also politically unacceptable. According to the University's website, the Aztec's history is long, and in no way is it culturally inappropriate or racially unbiased. The mascot, on the other hand, speaks all forms of racism.
After deliberations from the school board, alumni, and other major shareholders, the University's president agreed to change the mascot but retain the moniker. They also agreed to cease using names such as Monty and Zuma, which are politically inappropriate. Moreover, the school noted that the elimination of the moniker at this point might mean its dissociation from Mexicans and the Latin-American community and that is why the sports teams will retain the Aztec name. Fans may also appreciate playing Gonzo's Quest slot which also pays homage to Latin America at popular NetEnt casinos like Mucho Vegas.
The Golden State Warrior is a basketball team whose fans were feeling offended for years. However, it was not because of the team's performance but due to the logo. Before 1969, the basketball team used the name Philadelphia Warriors, whose logo was a native American bouncing a basketball. The logo faced criticism from fans, the media, and the general sports fraternity. However, a much civil approach was taken when the football club moved to San Francisco.
What happened is that the team's management and stakeholders completely dissociated themselves from the name and the logo. They officially became The Golden State Warriors, and the logo was changed from the Native American man to a bridge. The name and symbol idolise the Golden Gate Bridge, a 2,737m suspension connecting the Pacific Ocean and San Francisco Bay. The current name and logo are considered to be more civil and appropriate.
For decades, the University of Illinois used the Chief Illiniwek logo and mascot as a representation of their basketball team. However, fans and other groups of individuals felt offended by the use of the symbol and the mascot and had been protesting for approximately ten years. However, no action was taken until the NCAA made a move to cut off teams with racially, culturally, and politically inappropriate symbols and mascots from their roster. The decision saw the retirement of Chief Illiniwek logo and mascot.
February 2007 was the last time the team used the Chief Illiniwek logo. Another aspect that was changed was the ceremonial dance which was considered stereotypical. Since then, the University adopted the block I symbol. The symbol is considered modern and stylish. Note that the change of Chief Illiniwek logo and name happened right after their win against Michigan. It is also the last time they performed the ceremonial dance. Their new mascot is the state's iconic Kingfisher.
Cleveland Indians has for years been under attack about their culturally inappropriate logo, Chief Wahoo. The logo was synonymous with the team, but not every fan liked what it represented. While some saw creativity, others saw an offensive design that depicted an indigenous group of people. In fact, at one time, when Cleveland Indians were playing Toronto, a petition was filed to bar the logo and team name from appearing on Canadian television despite countless bets still being places at the best Canadian online casinos.
At first, the team's management was not enthusiastic about removing Chief Wahoo, claiming that the logo had a longstanding relationship with the fans. However, they caved in after protests ensued and ended up changing the logo in 2019. Currently, Cleveland Indians use a block C as their logo, and they have since made similar changes on all their merchandise courtesy of offended fans and a large team of Native American protesters wanting the Chief Wahoo logo to be benched for good. In 2020 they also agreed to change the team's name.
Washington Redskins have been fighting verbal and legal wars since their fans and other native indigenous Americans realised the team's name is offensive to the culture. Similar to the Cleveland Indians, Washington Redskins name is not the only problem; fans are also offended by its logo, which depicts the head of a Red Indian in traditional feather decoration. The team has been sued a couple of times by activists, but they always prevail in the name change lawsuits.
However, things took a different turn when some of the stakeholders led by FedEx decided it was done with the public outcry and decided to oppose the idea of keeping the name and logo. That made the team's management switch their tone and drop the name in 2020. Currently, the team goes by the name Washington Football Team. Furthermore, they agreed to retire the team's logo and replace it with something more fitting.
Surprisingly not based in the UK, but rather Ontario, Canada - the London Rippers found themselves under heat when they were branded after the infamous serial killer Jack the Ripper. In fact, their case led to a massive debate led by the mayor of London. That is because the unknown serial killer put London to a scare in 1988 after murdering and mutilating five women. However, unlike other teams, there were no lawsuits filed, just public criticism. However, the fact that so many people found the name unfitting made the team's management flinch.
They thus came up with an unofficial side name called Road Warriors. However, it was too late. The fact that they even named the character on their logo Diamond Jack offended their fans, who quickly linked the team's brand to Jack the Ripper. The team was disbanded, and after some time, they could not afford to keep the lights on.
Kansas City Chiefs were one happy family with a unique tradition. Their celebrations were like no other, and their ceremonial headdresses transformed stadiums. That is until some of their fans became culturally informed and started seeing the racial emphases of the team's name, culture, and even mascot, who was popularly known as Warpaint. Apart from facing backlashes from offended fans, Kansas City Chiefs had to deal with the outcry of the indigenous American society.
That made the management meet with a group of local indigenous leaders and make some notable changes. First, they banned the use of ceremonial headdresses and paints by fans. Furthermore, they retired their mascot Warpaint and replaced him with an anthropomorphic wolf.
So far, that is the list of some of the top 10 most offensive team names in the history of sports. From the details, it is clear that the world of sports has changed a great deal with different stakeholders taking the initiative to correct mistakes that were knowingly and unknowingly made in the past. That includes some teams changing their names and retiring their infamous mascots to stop offending fans. There are also teams that are still facing protests from fans to date and are considering making the necessary alterations. It seems it wasn't so long ago that people were just curious which fans were the most drunk, but it's perhaps a step in the right direction that people are being more righteous.