The Chicago Blackhawks logo is iconic for many Chicagoans and has served as one of the most marketable brands in the NHL. Over the last 5 years, their logo has been subject to controversy due to the stereotypical depiction of their Native American mascot. Although the Blackhawks logo has evolved slightly over the years, it still features the head of a Native American man covered in war paint. This has been described as culturally insensitive by some and demeaning and racist by others. Social research has shown that sports logos go beyond entertainment and function as important symbols with deeper psychological and social effects, this is why we wanted to dig deeper and find out how people truly feel about the logo. We used Google surveys to gather responses from 4’000 people during January and February 2020. Respondents ranged from 18 to 65+ and were based in the US and Canada.
- 67% of responders said that they find the logo “offensive, racist and demeaning to Native Americans”. Of those responders, 97% of those fans want the logo to be removed or redesigned.
- Millennials (76%) and Gen Z (74%) are most offended by the logo while only 8% of Baby Boomers found the logo offensive.
- 93% of Native Americans want the logo to be changed.
“What surprised us was not only the amount of people that find the logo offensive but how passionately people feel about this issue. Most importantly, we noticed that Native Americans are most offended by the logo and those are the voices that need to be heard.” Evan Fraser, Spokesperson at GraphicSprings