Best Of 2021

Best Long-Overdue High School Mascot Retirement and Rebrand: Anderson High School

This past summer, the Forest Hills Board of Education voted to officially retire the Anderson High School Redskins mascot. In what most humans would consider an overdue move, a release about the decision says it came after “community discussion, input and significant work to support inclusivity and diversity across the district.” On their Twitter, the National Congress of American Indians thanked the high school for standing on the “right side of history.” The school’s new mascot is an orange-red velociraptor bearing pointy white teeth and claws. Secondary logos include a close-up of a menacing dinosaur eye and a slashed Anderson “A.” In recent years, professional and local sports teams across the country have been changing or beginning to change team names and mascots that are racist, predominantly those with negative references to Indigenous Americans. In December, the Cleveland Indians announced that the team would take a new name and mascot before the 2022 baseball season; it had retired the controversial Chief Wahoo mascot beginning with the 2019 season and currently uses a stylized “C” on its uniforms. Anderson High School is still in the process of removing all references to its former mascot. After more than 80 years on the scene, the board says the Native American caricature will be “phased out in stages” during the 2020-21 school year.