21 December 2008

The College of William & Mary

5 Nov 2005. Yon colonial ales doth best be served in chill-ed tumblers! The logo on the cup in the photo is no longer the official athletic logo. The NCAA served W&M, along with many other schools, an ultimatum requiring the end of such offensive imagery to Native American peoples or else be banned from hosting postseason competitions. The original intent of the rule, to eliminate hurtful or innaccurate terms like redskin, indian, savage, etc. had been completely undermined at that point to be laughable and arbitrary. The Florida State Seminoles were allowed to continue their name and tradition of having an Indian chief ride a horse to midfield at football games carrying a massive spear. FSU claimed the Seminole tribe allowed usage of their name. The Illinois Fighting Illini were allowed to keep their name as well, deftly tapdancing their way to an explanation that the word 'Illini' denotes an Illinois resident, not just the tribal peoples. Then comes the W&M Tribe - formerly the Indians. The two feathers on the logo were deemed too harsh for our eyes and must be erased from all uniforms, letterheads, websites, fields, signage, co-eds' cheeks, etc. It has since been replaced by a classy but vanilla 'W&M' logo (see below) befitting an institution in its fourth century, but to have to change it at all was the most offensive aspect of this whole debacle. Gene Nichol, the University President got off a scathing parting shot to the NCAA that is both informative and entertaining. And Williamsburg was proud.

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