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Birds? Yeah, They're Racist Too

Jeff Katz
May 15, 2019 - 1:47 pm

You really have to wonder sometimes: where does it end?

In the midst of a merger between the athletic programs of Long Island University's Brooklyn and Post campuses, the LIU Brooklyn mascot Blackbirds is being ditched as of next fall, a move that has alums of the school upset.

According to the New York Post, a group of 12 former LIU Brooklyn athletes and alumni met in March with school president Kimberly Cline to address their concerns, but Cline told them the Blackbirds mascot would be ditched and "also said the school has heard that the Blackbird is an offensive racist mascot."

The group asked Cline the Blackbirds and the Pioneers — LIU Post's mascot — couldn't be on the ballot for merged programs' new nickname, but she said a marketing firm suggested they wipe the slate clean.

The Blackbirds' nickname dates back to 1935.

"As Blackbirds and Pioneers, our past and present student-athletes have built a strong foundation of excellence which our alumni are rightly proud of," LIU athletic director Debbie DeJong said in a statement to the Post. "Now, as we unite our two campuses into a strengthened Division I program, a new mascot will unify our national brand as we enter a new era of excellence."

The school's alums launched a Facebook group called "LIU Blackbirds Forever," adding that the group's 112 members have tried without success to get board members and DeJong to come around to their way of thinking.