When faced with a storm of opposition to its controversial mascot, Coachella Valley high school in California did what was necessary to stem the tide and turn the corner: It was open to making a deal. We're not going to tell Washington Redskins owner Daniel Snyder what to do, but there's probably a few things worth emulating in this story.
The high school came under fire a year ago for its "Arabs" nickname, especially the cartoonish depiction that was its mascot parading around with a belly dancer at the school's games. Not surprisingly, the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, a civil rights group in Washington, D.C., wasn't thrilled with the unflattering stereotype. However, before football even kicked off for the school this season, the mascots were sent packing and a new logo – approved by the same anti-discrimination group – was unveiled.
The school presented the group with five new options, and Abed Ayoub, a representative for the group explained how it settled on its favorite, a stoic, strong-jawed man with a neatly trimmed beard, a white headscarf and his face half-covered in shadow.
"We passed it around to experts and community members," Ayoub said. "We took our time to get the opinion of that logo, and it was overwhelmingly positive."
The school established the nickname and mascot in the 1920s, and had established the most recent mascots and logos for decades before any major complaints were sounded. But sounded they were by multiple groups and news outlets. The final approval of the new logo remains with the local school board, but all parties involve expect the compromise – to keep the nickname, nix the mascots, and change the logo – to be pushed through.
On the racetrack over the weekend, a squirrel nearly compromised its life when it dashed in front of Kevin Harvick's car at the Oral-B 500. Harvick thought he nearly hit a cat, and pictures confirmed afterward that the squirrel made it out safely.
Finally, Michael Sam had a tough weekend, but there's no shortage of options for him thanks to the WWE and CFL reaching out to offer him some career opportunities. We're still putting our money on an NFL debut this season, though, and we're guessing he is, too.
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