San Diego State University has decided to keep its longstanding “Aztecs” nickname, though it will tone down its Aztec Warrior mascot to a more culturally appropriate figure: “Spirit Leader.” SDSU’s interim president, Sally Roush, recently told the San Diego Union-Tribune, “The Aztec Warrior…will be retained, but as Spirit Leader, not mascot.” So, instead of appearing menacing, will he now be portrayed as a Mesoamerican version of Richard Simmons?
“We just expect a much more dignified and appropriate demeanor from that person. You won’t see the Aztec Warrior doing pushups in the end zone. You won’t see the Aztec Warrior dancing with the cheerleaders,” Roush added. What, he’s out-of-shape and gay? Gets winded easily? Is that a depiction of which an actual Aztec Warrior would typically approve?
A task-force-conducted major survey determined that SDSU, its alumni, and the public all want to keep the Aztec nickname, which has been in use since 1925, according to the Union-Tribune. Inexplicably, the task force concluded: “In the current political climate relative to the US/Mexico border, the elimination of the moniker may be read as discriminatory and an attempt to ‘erase’ our relationship to Mexico and other Latin Americans,” the paper reported. Hmmm. If Cleveland’s major league baseball team gave up the nickname “Indians,” would that be viewed as an attempt to “erase” the squad’s relationship to Native Americans?
However, the group, furrowing its collective brow, apparently considered counter-arguments as well, noting that dropping the Aztecs moniker makes sense “because of the current political climate.” You know, that whole “appropriation” thing. Yet, in the end, the group essentially decided, “Aztec good. Warrior bad.”
San Diego State Aztec “Spirit Leaders” it is!
And remember: like yourself, eat healthy and squeeze your buns! Go team!