Saskatchewan. Senior hockey team announces plans to remove Confederate flag from logo

A senior hockey team in southern Saskatchewan has said it will change its team logo, which features a Confederate flag, as soon as it can afford it.

The current logo of the Assiniboia Rebels Senior Hockey Club features the silhouette of a bugler with a Confederate flag flying in the background above him.

« We are aware of the complaint and the concerns raised. As a group, we have already entered into discussions and will phase out our logo as soon as we are financially able to do so, » the team said in a statement sent. at CBC. .

He did not provide information on the cost of the logo change or the time frame in which it could be done.

Photos from the team’s Facebook profile show the logo in 2011, while the most recent photo is of their championship win in 2022. It shows the team in their white home shirts with the logo on the front.

The team also posted photos on social media from 2020 with another dark-colored jersey that features a large letter « R ».

A photo on social media from 2020 shows an Assiniboia Senior Rebels alternate jersey with a large orange « R » on a dark navy blue background. (Assiniboia Senior Rebels/Facebook)

The logo is included in the city’s new $18 million recreation center, called the Southland Co-op Center, also known as the Town of Assiniboia and District Recreation Complex.

The installation was completed in mid-September, according to a press release. It should be fully operational before the end of September.

The federal government provided nearly $6.3 million for the facility through its Investing in Canada infrastructure program, while more than $5.2 million came from the Saskatchewan government.

An empty skating rink at the new Assiniboia Recreation Center
The Southland Co-op Centre, also known as the Town of Assiniboia and District Recreation Complex, displays the logos of its senior and junior hockey clubs. (Southland Cooperative Center/Facebook)

The rest of the price was covered by the city, about 135 kilometers southwest of Regina, and fundraising efforts, the news release said.

In the statement, Assiniboia Mayor Sharon Schauenberg said, “Recreational facilities, especially in smaller towns, are becoming the meeting place where all can gather and create memories.

The fact that the symbol is there will tell enough people that you are not meant to be in that space.– Courtney Szto, Professor of Kinesiology and Health Studies at Queen’s University

The Town of Assiniboia’s recreation and community wellness manager told CBC in an email that « the Senior Rebels organization is very quickly doing a new logo, and the new logo will replace the one on their jerseys and in their locker room. .

« We understand this logo is offensive, which is why it’s being changed right now. »

Additional questions were directed to a team official, who declined an interview request on Friday.

In an interview Thursday, before the team released its statement, Carol LaFayette-Boyd, volunteer executive director of the Saskatchewan African Canadian Heritage Museum in Regina, said she felt the team did not understand the meaning or the meaning of the flag.

« That’s what I would choose to believe anyway, because I hope our people in Saskatchewan are above that, » she said.

« I understand it’s an adult group and I don’t think they would want their kids to know they’re supporting something like this. »

LaFayette-Boyd says that while it may cost money to make the change, the team should get rid of the logo.

assiniboia senior rebels hockey team logo
The logo of the Assiniboia Senior Rebels hockey team in the new arena. (Southland Cooperative Center/Facebook)

Courtney Szto, assistant professor of kinesiology and health studies at Queen’s University in Ontario, wondered why the Confederate flag had any place in Canada, given its history in the United States. However, she added, it has become more prominent recently during events such as the Ottawa convoy protest.

She says the flag may represent different points of view, but it consistently represents racism and white supremacy, and would indicate that some people are not welcome in the arena while providing a « safe space » for people who believe in its racist values.

While some consider it a symbol of southern pride, it is known as a symbol of slavery and is used by extremist groups including the white supremacist Ku Klux Klan.

« No one has to say anything, but just having the symbol there will tell enough people that you’re not meant to be in that space, » Szto said.

Szto calls hockey white-centric and not very inclusive, referring to controversial team logos, including the Aboriginal mascot or other symbols, which have changed following criticism.

In Saskatchewan, Western Hockey League teams such as the Moose Jaw Warriors and Prince Albert Raiders changed their logos, with the Raiders saying their transition was due to the « insensitive and offensive » design.

« It’s hard to know what the intention is behind [it] but in anti-racism work, it’s not about intent, it’s about impact, » Szto said.

« It’s definitely a symbol that will say to a lot of people, ‘this isn’t an rink I want to hang out in, this isn’t a team I want to support, and this isn’t a place I want to be. spend a lot of time.' »

cbc sp

Back to top button