Should Albany Be Offended by the Notre Dame Leprechaun?
Albany has a large Irish contingent. They are very proud of their heritage and should be. Just look at the size of the city's St. Patrick's Day Parade. So, should Albany be offended by the Notre Dame mascot? Well, it looks like some people are, the famous leprechaun made it near the top of the list of "offensive college mascots."
I get it. Native Americans are and should be offended by many of the nicknames and mascots that are, and have been, used by college campuses and professional sports teams. I couldn't really comment on how these mascots or nicknames made those effected groups feel but common sense deems many of them offensive in one way or another. Now the politically correct police are stepping into an area that I can comment on.
According to an article in today's New York Post by By Jeremy Layton, Natalie O'Neill and Georgett Roberts,
"a new survey by Quality Logo Products, a sports apparel company, listed Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish leprechaun as the fourth-most offensive college football team mascot in the nation, according to results published in the Indianapolis Star."
The Fighting Irish Leprechaun? Really? What about the Lucky Charms guy? Is he no longer magically delicious? Now, you could argue "The Fighting Irish" could be offensive maybe because it insinuates that Irish people fight. Well, that actually is where the nickname came from but that is besides the point. That was back in the early 1900's. A lot of people were fighting back then. But the mascot?
The article said that "after the results were published, a representative from Notre Dame emailed IndyStar with a written statement to defend its use of the leprechaun."
“It is worth noting … that there is no comparison between Notre Dame’s nickname and mascot and the Indian and warrior names (and) mascots used by other institutions such as the NFL team formerly known as the Redskins,” the statement said. “None of these institutions were founded or named by Native Americans who sought to highlight their heritage by using names and symbols associated with their people. “Our symbols stand as celebratory representations of a genuine Irish heritage at Notre Dame, a heritage that we regard with respect, loyalty and affection.”
This to me is crazy, so I looked up the definition of "leprechaun." According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary a leprechaun is:"a mischievous elf (see ELF sense 1) of Irish folklore usually believed to reveal the hiding place of treasure if caught." It's an elf. It's not real and unless Santa Claus thinks the Notre Dame mascot is disparaging to all elves, then we should just leave the leprechaun alone.