CHICAGO – It might be a while before fans can watch Blackhawks games in person, but when they are allowed back in, headdresses will not be welcome.
The organization released a formal statement about its decision.
“As we prepare to return to play and represent you in the Stanley Cup Qualifiers in Edmonton, we want our fans to be very clear on what it means to be part of the Blackhawks family, regardless of whether we can be together in the arena. We have always maintained an expectation that our fans uphold an atmosphere of respect, and after extensive and meaningful conversations with our Native American partners, we have decided to formalize those expectations.
Moving forward, headdresses will be prohibited for fans entering Blackhawks-sanctioned events or the United Center when Blackhawks home games resume. These symbols are sacred, traditionally reserved for leaders who have earned a place of great respect in their Tribe, and should not be generalized or used as a costume of for everyday wear.”
The Blackhawks announced they would continue to use their team name in early July because it honors a Native American leader who has been an inspiration to generations.
“The Chicago Blackhawks name and logo symbolizes an important and historic person, Black Hawk of Illinois’ Sac & Fox Nation, whose leadership and life has inspired generations of Native Americans, veterans and the public,” the NHL team said in a statement Tuesday.
“We celebrate Black Hawk’s legacy by offering ongoing reverent examples of Native American culture, traditions and contributions, providing a platform for genuine dialogue with local and national Native American groups. As the team’s popularity grew over the past decade, so did that platform and our work with these important organizations.
“We recognize there is a fine line between respect and disrespect, and we commend other teams for their willingness to engage in that conversation. Moving forward, we are committed to raising the bar even higher to expand awareness of Black Hawk and the important contributions of all Native American people. “