Young player refuses to wear Blackhawks-like logo, sparks controversy

The Chicago Blackhawks’ logo is one of the most iconic in hockey, as an Original Six team. It’s also a point of increasing controversy, as Native American (and Indigenous Canadian) iconography used for sports teams has been decried and eliminated in the last decade – not to mention the continuing controversy over the Washington Redskins moniker.

Variations of that logo are used by youth hockey teams around North America, including the Northwest Warriors in Calgary, which has claimed that the logo “honours what the Indigenous community means to Calgary.”

One seven-year-old girl from an Indigenous family didn’t quite agree with this notion. In fact, she outright refused to wear the “discriminatory” jersey as a member of the Northwest Warriors. It’s a decision that means, due to zoning restrictions for the league by Hockey Calgary, that she will miss what would have been her first season in competitive hockey.

From the Calgary Herald and Alana Smith:

Bryan Boechler, president of the Crowchild association said this is the first complaint they’ve received about the logo. “The warrior is a revered figure in the First Nations heritage, so that’s the perspective we took in bringing our new name to the forefront,” said Boechler. He said the association consulted with Indigenous people when the logo was first introduced and that it honours what the Indigenous community means to Calgary, much like Crowchild Trail does.

They have no plans to change the logo, but would consider it if more concerns arise. “The reality is we’re a member organization, so should there be direction from our membership or concern that we’re somehow doing something negative … there’s no question. We would consider it,” he said.

Sometimes all it takes is one person speaking up to spark a movement like this.

This seems like a good place to mention that alternate Blackhawks logo created by Ojibway artist Mike Ivall in 2015. From Second City Hockey’s piece on that logo, and the future of the Blackhawks’ one:

The discourse on the Hawks’ logo will continue, and as time passes, it feels increasingly like a matter of “when,” not “if.” The branding will have to catch up with the times eventually, even if it means leaving behind some important images and traditions from the franchise’s past.

File that under “things you’ll never hear from Daniel Snyder.”

Greg Wyshynski is a writer for Yahoo Sports. Contact him at or find him on Twitter. His book, TAKE YOUR EYE OFF THE PUCK, is available on Amazon and wherever books are sold.