Rebranding questions

Dear Editor:

RE: Centre Wellington minor lacrosse to drop Mohawks moniker, logo, Jan. 7.

This article drew my attention. I wanted to know what had brought about this change. Apparently, the Mohawk name and logo “may no longer accurately reflect the honourable intention it originally had.”

Okay, so I was looking for information in the article to explain what is honourable and what is not concerning that issue. Unfortunately, there was none.

When the professional player Lyle Thompson was mentioned, I did some investigating on who he is and how he was connected. Online I learned numerous issues were brought up by Thompson and he expressed his thoughts and concerns. There is also an eight minute Instagram from Mr. Thompson that is worth watching.

Here is a small paragraph from one magazine article: “ We just want to share our gift with the world and that’s lacrosse. We don’t own the game of lacrosse, just like yoga was gifted the Indians. I never say that this is our game, because I don’t feel like I own it. My job is only to honour it and pass it on and hope that other people can continue to honour it.”

It appears that Mr. Thompson takes lacrosse as a game first, then a sport. A game that is tied deeply to native culture. After reading the article and watching the video, I wonder if it would be of a greater benefit to keep the name and use the “significant cost to replace jerseys for over 400 players” as well as legal costs to rebrand, and approach Native communities to first establish the game of lacrosse, if not already there, or better support the game that exists, and work with the communities to see how it may be possible to keep the Mohawk name and honour both the people and the game.

I am sure it is not a simple issue to resolve, but if nothing else changes but rebranding, what good does that really do? The article and video give some good insight to the challenges and problems that currently exist and highlight some possible solutions. When a game is no longer any fun, is it called a sport? My two cents worth.

Michael Thorp,
Mount Forest