America's 5 Most Embarrassing High School Mascots
Right now, the football-loving world is mired in debate over the team name of the Washington Redskins, which the Oneida Indian Nation feels is offensive to Native Americans, possibly because "redskin" happens to be a racial slur against Native Americans.
And while we aren't here to take sides, we are more than happy to point out several other bizarrely dehumanizing team mascots from high schools around the country, as naming your team after an animal or a mythical creature is apparently too fucking hard for a sizable chunk of the population.
The Laurel Hill Hoboes
Do they rent out the gym for weddings?
Down in Okaloosa County, Florida, we have the Laurel Hill Hoboes, with an adorable cartoon homeless man as their mascot, because school administrators wish to furnish their students with realistic expectations for the future.
Please note how inexplicably content he looks, despite the fact that his bindle, which presumably contains all of his worldly belongings, is smaller than that basketball he's dribbling.
The school defends the name, insisting that a "hobo" is just a migratory worker, which makes just as much sense as a mascot for high school athletics as a transient boxcar hopper. Also, "hobos" is spelled wrong. Hooray, education.
The Centralia Orphans
Yes, the girls' teams are called the Annies.
The Centralia Orphans, hailing from the great state of Illinois, earned their nickname after a sports writer commented on the school's torn and messy uniforms, saying the students looked like a bunch of orphans (this was back in the 1940s, when people famously didn't give a shit about anything). They recently won the dubious honor of the most unique mascot in the United States, narrowly triumphing over the Chinook Sugarbeeters and the Key Obezags, either of which are arguably better options than referring to your students as parentless wards of the state.
The East Orientals
Of course it comes in yellow.
Both East High School in Rochester, New York, and East High School in Akron, Ohio, are the proud homes of the Orientals, because if your school has the word "East" in its name, you apparently have no other choice. You don't need Don Draper for that one -- the copy practically writes itself.
We assume the school cheer is called "The Asian Persuasion."
The Akron school (whose mascot was a dragon) eventually decided to change its name, but East High in Rochester is still happy to stick with a team name that evokes Fu Manchu dunking a basketball.
The McLaughlin Midgets
It took their finest MS Paint artists a dozen man-minutes to design.
McLaughlin High School in McLaughlin, South Dakota, is the home of the Midgets, despite the fact that the mascot looks more like a gray, dick-nosed gremlin. Their varsity football team's 2013 season record seems to indicate a similar attention to detail:
Yes, those are five shutouts by more than a 50-point margin. Go Midgets.
Once again, due to some baffling alignment of the cosmos, this isn't the only high school in America that decided to nickname their school a derogatory term for Peter Dinklage. Freeburg Community High School in Illinois also calls their sports team the Midgets, and they even sell apparel with the name on it. Their website urges you to "GET YOUR MIDGETS GEAR," which is simultaneously the greatest and worst possible way to phrase that sentence.
The Coachella Valley Arabs
There's one thousand and one things wrong with this.
Coachella Valley High School in Southern California has been parading out a snarling, bearded stereotype as its mascot since the 1930s, when the name "the Arabs" was chosen because of the high concentration of Arab-American date farmers in the area and the low concentration of Arab-Americans that had any say in what the team was going to be named. The big-headed fellow even has a belly-dancing woman come out and perform for him at halftime, because holy shit, America.
The American Arab Anti-Discrimination Group has asked that the mascot be changed, to which the president of the Coachella Valley High School Alumni Association responded, "We have been using the snarling face to instill fear in the opponent ... but we can put a handsome dude in the mascot." Because it's only racist if the guy is ugly.