UNLV dropped its mascot “Hey Reb!” but will keep the Rebels moniker, the school announced Tuesday.
UNLV President Keith Whitfield said in a letter to students that the team has no plans on a new mascot. Durante l'estate, the team had removed the “Hey Reb!” statue on campus citing criticism that the mascot was rooted in racist ideology.
“I was drawn to lead this great university because I identified with its spirit, determination and daring style,” Whitfield said, tramite il Las Vegas Sun. “Rebels are not afraid to fail and create a new path when one doesn’t exist. For all these reasons and many more, we will continue to be known as ‘Rebels.’”
Ha aggiunto: “For all intents and purposes, the Hey Reb! mascot has been retired since last spring, and there are no plans to bring it back.”
The mascot and nickname date back to the mid-1950s, when the university expanded from the University of Nevada, Reno.
“… students and administrators drew the idea for Rebels from the natural rivalry that accompanied the split between what would become UNLV and UNR,” the school’s sito web stati.
“After establishing the Rebels nickname, Nevada Southern (NS) students also created Beauregard, a cartoon wolf with a Confederate uniform, to ‘rebel’ against UNR and its wolf-pack mascot in the North … While it was a decision based in rivalry and fun, the choice of a Confederate-themed mascot was nonetheless an unfortunate one.”
The image was eventually banned by the student body in the 1970s and years later the school adopted the Hey Reb! mascot.
An online petition calling on the university to change the mascot called the Hey Reb! Immagine “racist.”
“The ‘Rebel’ is racist and is rooted in a Confederate mythology which has no place on our campus,” the petition said. “The mascot, originally named ‘Beauregard’ after the Confederate general who fired the first shots of the Civil War, presents a public image that runs counter to our core values and UNLV’s mission to become the leading multicultural university in the United States. Having a mascot that is inextricably connected to a failed regime whose single aim was to preserve the institution of slavery is an embarrassment to our campus and to our community.”
Il Las Vegas-Review Journal noted that a 2015 analysis by UNLV chief diversity officer Rainier Spencer determined that neither the Rebels’ nickname nor the mascot had any ties to the Confederacy.
Fox News’ Paulina Dedaj contributed to this report.