The Tampa Bay Buccaneers don’t romanticize piracy
With the Buccaneers in the Super Bowl spotlight, some have taken a stance and argued that it may be a problem to romanticize these barbarous marauders.
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers are world champions, and the spotlight is shining down on them. With this notoriety comes scrutiny from those who typically don’t care about the topic. The same is true for the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
In an era where team names are examined under tighter scrutiny, the Bucs are the latest team to fall under the microscope in this article by the Washington Post.
The author’s article is well written and provided good historically informational of pirate lore and of the Tampa area. She goes on to question not only the Buccaneers, but sports nicknames in general, and if there are some offensive nicknames with underlying nefarious meanings behind them and why are they revered.
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Mascots and team nicknames, from all levels of sports and scholastic institutions, have been under attack for several years as athletic institutions try to move away from offensive terminology and monikers. The NFL itself recently had a team lose its name and played with “Football Team” as its mascot for the season.
The article itself focuses not on the name for Tampa Bay’s football team, but on the actions by the buccaneers themselves. While most Floridians are familiar with the history of pirates and their impact on the state, this article tries to highlight the danger of using a criminal from history as a mascot for something like a sport.
The issue with this is that it assumes that the average fan believes buccaneers were good or moral people. Perhaps as Floridians we have a better understanding of the topic than most people outside the state.
As a lifelong fan of the Buccaneers and the history of the mascot in the state, I’m going to respectfully defend attacks on topics I support and believe in. No one is trying to say that buccaneers were good people, but there is a stark difference between using them as a mascot and a racial slur.
We can probably agree there are some teams whose nicknames may be outdated and they have changed them from time to time. Change can be a good thing, especially with names that are offensive, but moderation and intent are important.
Many mascots and nicknames are created to instill intimidation in your opponent. Some represent the history of an area or the industries. The ‘Fluffy Bunnies’ wouldn’t really intimidate or impress me, just sayin’.
While we don’t want to glorify the wrong type of people, especially in an era where we are attempting to address topics like this, buccaneers have played such a large role in the Tampa area that there are few names that are more fitting.
This is likely the sign of more to come, but for now, let’s just enjoy the fact that Tampa has added another Super Bowl win.