This is the text of an email sent to CBC’s “the Current” Friday April 20.
It was with interest that I listened to today’s piece on team names. A thoughtful discussion. However, sometimes I wonder whether the topic deserves so much anguish. One other group of people whose supposed culture seem trigger a large number of sports team names are the Gaelic cousin cultures from the Scottish Highlands and the Ireland.
A few examples:
• Golden Gaels – Queen’s University Kingston ON
• Fighting Irish – Notre Dame du Lac in Notre Dame Indianna
• Green Gaels – Jr B. Lacrosse team in Bowmanville Ontario area
• Highlanders – NewZealand professional rugby team Dunedin
• St. Mary’s Gaels – Moraga California
• Glengarry Gaels – various teams in the Alexandria Ontario area
• Clansmen rugby club – Edmonton AB
Their logos/crests are often cartoonish and not very related to the true culture (ex. Notre Dame’s pugnacious leprechaun and the Dunedin Highlander’s kilted sword carrying long haired warrior logo).
Although I too rue the loss of culture (the last native Gaelic speaker in this part of Canada died over a decade ago), I usually feel good when I hear that teams called Gaels or Highlanders are active. Someone recognized we were here. Instead of negative navel gazing, maybe culturally inspired team names should be something of which we can be proud.