After many years of complaints about the racial insensitivity of having a man dressed as a Confederate soldier as the symbol of a university where 14 percent of students are black, Ole Miss is pulling the plug on ‘Colonel Reb’ this football season. The white-bearded, cane-toting mascot has not been the Rebels’ official team cheerleader since 2003. But his image is omnipresent on fan merchandise, including T-shirts, Confederate flags and corkscrews. This summer, Ole Miss announced a ban on the sale of any items with his image. And in coming weeks, the university is expected to hold a student-run election to pick a new mascot. Well, it’s about time, especially for a school with a sizable African-American student population — not to mention its major black student-athlete population. Change is a process, and contrary to popular belief, racial sensitivity is not a bad thing. God forbid that you consider someone’s history and feelings. We wonder how and if this decision will impact the other racially insensitive mascots that are quite common in collegiate and professional sports?
Read more at The New York Times.