The debate over the “Redskins” mascot has extended to the Buffalo, N.Y., area, where two high schools last week cancelled upcoming lacrosse games due to an opponent’s use of said nickname.
On Friday, Akron High School elected to cancel its March 31 varsity lacrosse game against Lancaster High School, citing concerns about Lancaster’s “Redskins” mascot, per The Associated Press. Roughly 11 percent of the school’s students and a majority of the lacrosse team are Native American, according to the AP.
The decision to cancel the game was unanimous among players and community members, Akron Superintendent Kevin Shanley told WGRZ’s Jeff Preval.
“Over the past few days, we’ve had some productive and enlightening conversations within our district, and based on those conversations it was decided we would cancel our non-league lacrosse game with Lancaster in support of our Native American students and families,” Shanley told WGRZ.com.
Lake Shore High School, which also has a high population of Native American students, quickly followed suit by cancelling both boys’ and girls’ lacrosse games against Lancaster, per Syracuse.com. Lake Shore Superintendent James Przepasniak likewise cited the school’s population of Native American students as a reason for the cancellation.
“It is in support of our Native American community,” Przepasniak told WIVB.com. “It was done in a mature and responsible way.”
Lancaster High School has used the “Redskins” mascot since the early 1950s,
A version of this news article first appeared in the Schooled in Sports blog.