ESPN’s Max Kellerman calls the Notre Dame Fighting Irish mascot and nickname offensive, but maybe it’s him who should be labeled.
It was only a matter of time before this subject was brought up. ESPN First Take personality Max Kellerman took it to national television to start the wildfire. After the recent news of the Cleveland Indians losing their “Chief Wahoo” logo, Kellerman made the argument that the Fighting Irish was offensive and needed to be changed as well.
"“Pernicious, negative stereotypes of marginalized people that offend even some among them should be changed. It’s not that hard,”"
So what does this really mean, particularly for Notre Dame?
For the most part, he’s right. There is no reason to use a negative stereotype as a mascot. If something is offensive and wrong, you change it. That part isn’t hard to understand. What is hard is deciding if the Fighting Irish name fits into that category.
Many would say that the Fighting Irish has always been a negative stereotype of foolish, drinking and brawling characteristics of the Irish.
If that’s what Notre Dame is trying to get across with their nickname and mascot then shut down the entire athletic program. If the university was trying to bring that negative attributes into their school, I’m not quite sure who would be a fan.
But they’re not. The school’s website states a couple of reasons of how the nickname “Fighting Irish” may have started at the university. In every situation, it was quite clear that the ones calling the athletes Fighting Irish were saying it as a negative connotation.
So what did they do about it? They took pride in it.
"The most generally accepted explanation is that the press coined the nickname as a characterization of Notre Dame athletic teams, their never-say-die fighting spirit and the Irish qualities of grit, determination and tenacity. The term likely began as an abusive expression tauntingly directed toward the athletes from the small, private, Catholic institution.More from Slap the SignPointsBet Promo: Bet $50, Win an Official Jersey at Fanatics!Notre Dame vs NC State: How to watch, odds, injuries, series history and moreCaesars Indiana Sign-Up Promo: Win $250 GUARANTEED Bonus Betting on Notre Dame This Week!FanDuel + DraftKings Indiana Promos: Bet $10 on Notre Dame, Win $400 Bonus GUARANTEED!New Caesars + DraftKings Indiana Promos: $450 GUARANTEED Bonus Backing Notre Dame vs. Navy!"
“Their never-say-die fighting spirit” is something that has been clear so many times before. The countless times Notre Dame counted out before a game or had to make an incredible comeback to win is what it’s all about. In those times there is not a single fan that doesn’t take pride in saying “We’re the Fighting Irish”
It’s not about a stereotype, it’s about a culture. Notre Dame is a university with a renowned Irish Studies program. They played in the country in 1996 and 2012 for the culture. The students do an Irish dance, that ends up looking like a catastrophe most of the time. Then they square up with their fists moving to the beat of the band.
The pride of the Fighting Irish
It started with a sense of pride and it continues today. Instead of saying the school should drop the mascot, let’s have the school continually educate students and fans as to why they are the Fighting Irish.
What do you do when people are against you and putting you down? You make the most of it. That’s what Notre Dame did and that’s why they are the Fighting Irish.
Max Kellerman is entitled to his opinion, but it’s clear from his comments that he has no real understanding of the history and meaning of the Fighting Irish, and the pride associated with the name.
Make us wonder how we could label him.