Unlike the timid owners of the Cleveland Indians and the Kansas City Chiefs, Notre Dame University isn’t buckling under pressure from the sports nickname gestapo. Neither is former Fighting Irish football coach Lou Holtz. After a survey by Quality Logo disparaged Notre Dame’s Fighting Irish leprechaun, the university and former coach basically told nickname Nazi’s to pound sand.
ESPN’s woke Max Kellerman, co-host on First Take, had also denounced the leprechaun. In 2018, he yelled that "Many Irish are not offended" by the mascot of the Fighting Irish, "but many are! Should that also change? The answer is ... the answer is yes! Unequivocally yes! Pernicious negative stereotypes of marginalized people that offend even some among them should be changed. It's not that hard."
Perhaps the leprechaun worked his magic. Wednesday night, the Notre Dame mascot disappeared from the web page listing the worst college mascots. However, the leprechaun got a lot of lovin’ from some heavy hitters before that happened. And the nickname gestapo got a bad rap, too.
The university released a statement to the Indianapolis Star defending its mascot, and resisted any pressure to change it.:
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. 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.
Holtz, who won the national championship at Notre Dame in 1988, went on Fox & Friends to exhort people to fight back against cancel culture.:
The students at Notre Dame, when I coached there for 11 years, they’re proud to be a part of the Fighting Irish. The Irish have a great tradition, etc. But why does everybody have to say what you want to do? There’s a lot of things I don’t like that I tolerate. That’s part of life. That’s part of the United States. It’s part of the freedom of speech.
But people, they get offended and try to bully and try to shut ya up. But I think it’s time for the silent majority to stand up and say no more. This is what we believe, and this is what is going to go on. This is our country, and this is the way it was founded.
Holtz went beyond the nickname gestapo, too.:
People don’t like the flag. They don’t like the Pledge of Allegiance. Everything in this world they don’t like – the Redskins. Good Lord knows. Let’s have the ability to stand up. I used to think the First Amendment said I have the freedom of speech to say what I want and say what I feel. But let’s not be intimidated any longer. It’s time the silent majority stood up.
David Hookstead, the sports and entertainment editor for The Daily Caller, also blasted cancel culture. We live “in incredibly stupid times and decisions are rarely driven by common sense,” he wrote. “They’re almost always driven by whoever shouts the loudest and shames the most.”
Last month, the Cleveland Indians baseball club announced it would cave in to nickname gestapo pressure and changed their name to Guardians. Then the Chiefs did likewise and sent their mascot, a real live horse named Warpaint, out to pasture.
For once, the woke cancellation mob is getting a well-earned rejection.