George Washington University Dropping ‘Colonials’ Nickname for Athletic Teams
“Colonials were active purveyors of colonialism and were complicit in militarized and racialized violence, oppression and hierarchy”
Do you think the student activists who are driving this are big sports fans? Are they regulars at the college games? Somehow, I doubt it.
The New York Times reports:
George Washington University Is Moving on From ‘Colonials’
George Washington University will soon choose a new nickname for its athletic teams, dropping “Colonials” after years of pressure from students who said the name was entangled with violence toward Native Americans and other colonized people.
The campus community, in the heart of the nation’s capital, has narrowed a list of 10 replacement candidates to four finalists: “Ambassadors,” “Blue Fog,” “Revolutionaries” and “Sentinels.”
The university will hear feedback until April 28 throughout what it is calling “Moniker Madness” and a new nickname will be announced by the end of the semester, said Ellen Moran, the university’s vice president for communications and marketing.
The school’s mascot will remain George 1 — George Washington’s head, which a uniformed student wears.
The change comes amid a reckoning of the fraught history of team names across the American sports landscape. It comes after a push by students and a victory for Native American activists last year when the National Football League team in Washington became the Commanders, shedding a name that was a slur against Indigenous people.
“The more we engage and the more we help the community envision what the new moniker options might look like and give the community a chance to try out what the future might look like, we’re getting a lot of positive engagement,” Ms. Moran said.
The Colonials name has been part of the university’s identity since 1926, replacing the Hatchetites, Hatchetmen, Axemen and Crummen (for Henry Crum, a football coach).
Opposition to the Colonials nickname erupted in 2019, when the student body voted to remove it, and the “Anything But Colonials Coalition” was formed, according to a report a university moniker committee released in 2021.
The next year, student organizations delivered a petition to the university president’s office seeking a name change
“Colonials were active purveyors of colonialism and were complicit in militarized and racialized violence, oppression and hierarchy,” the petition said. “Colonialism has been historically and contemporaneously built upon usurping land, labor and autonomy from racialized communities through dehumanizing violence and suppression.”
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This is just another symptom of the GW’s intellectual rot and collective mental breakdown. Its not new, having been evident for twenty years or more. It’s why, as a graduate of the law school, I stopped giving to GW long ago. Based upon conversations with classmates, I’m not alone.
In terms of fan support, there’s not much for GW to lose at this point.
Slavery ended almost 160 years ago in the U.S.
GW’s social justice warriors never address slavery currently taking place in Africa and in the Arab world, especially the exploitation of children.