Chicago Blackhawks Team Up With Illinois Museum To Properly Honor Their Namesake
Hold on to your hats folks, here comes a story about the Chicago Blackhawks that's actually.... positive?
It's been a rough 5 or 6 years for the Chicago Blackhawks. They dynasty of the early 2010s feels like it was about 3 decades ago.
And while the Blackhawks have been horrible on the ice, their public relations have possibly been even worse. The sexual abuse that occured between a player and a member of the training staff was initially squashed behind closed doors before it became public.
And then when it did become public the Blackhawks hosted a townhall to address the state of the team, it devolved into the owner of the franchise lecturing a journalist for asking questions about the incident.
The whole incident culminated in the greatest player of all time, Wayne Gretzky (heard of him?,) saying that he would not want his son to play for Chicago because he couldn't trust them to protect him.
By the way, this isn't the first time I've had to recount this time in Blackhawk history while writing a blog. The last time was... <checks notes>,,, 3 days ago when they failed to bring back their BELOVED announcer Eddie Olczyk.
This was all on top of the decades long debate they've had about appropriating Native American images and culture with their team name.
We've seen college teams abandon Native American nicknames for a while now and more recently, two professional clubs.
Now, it would be wrong to compare the Chicago Blackhawks to the Washington Redskins or the Cleveland Indians and Chief Wahoo. Those names and mascots were obviously rooted in some pretty racist sentiment. The Blackhawks are named after a real person, Chief Blackhawk, and the team, generally, steers away from using the Indian motif in any insulting ways.
However, they also haven't done a real great job of educating their fans, players, and employees about the history and importance of Chief Blackhawk and tribes native to the area.
That's all changing soon and it was announced in a surprisingly good video from the son of the owner, Danny Wirtz, on how this education will proceed.
An integral part of this project will be a collaborative project with Rockford's own Burpee museum. The museum, the Blackhawks, and local Native people will work together to bring an exhibit to Burpee.
Burpee.org - The Burpee Museum invites you to experience our newest contemporary exhibition “Of This Place.” This exhibition is a collaborative effort between the Burpee Museum and Native people from the Ho-Chunk, Sac and Fox, Potawatomi, and Ojibwe Nations, curated by Starla Thompson (Forest Band Potawatomi).
The exhibit is scheduled to open next Saturday, July 30th.
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