Blackhawks Ban Headdresses at United Center

On Wednesday evening, the Blackhawks will be back on the ice against the St. Louis Blues in a warm-up game before their play-in series against the Edmonton Oilers.

A few hours before the first on-ice action in five months, the Blackhawks made a strong statement.

The Hawks have banned headdresses from all Blackhawks events at the United Center moving forward.

From the team’s statement:

“These symbols are sacred, traditionally reserved for leaders who have earned a place of great respect in their Tribe, and should not be generalized or used as a costume or for everyday wear.”

The Blackhawks also announced the organization is partnering with the Chicago Field Museum of Natural History to develop the Chicago Blackhawks Cultural Education Center. Housed at the Trickster Cultural Center, this new state-of-the-art exhibit “will include Native American artifacts from their vast collection and integrate a greater use of technology to create an interactive space for students throughout Chicagoland, Northwest Indiana and Southern Wisconsin to visit as part of their core curriculum.”

52 thoughts on “Blackhawks Ban Headdresses at United Center

  1. Good call by the Hawks. Not that fans are going to be at games any time soon. Who knows if the 2019-2020 playoffs actually finish, or when the 2020 season starts, ends?
    Anyway, I’ll be watching the TV when they face off against Oilers.

    Let’s Go Hawks!

  2. Very Respectful of The Blackhawks! Our Hawks proudly wear the logo with total respect to the founder of the franchise. It is awesome, the BEST in the league! I am a proud Hawk Fan! I will be watching them tonight! Let’s Go Hawks!!!

  3. Too bad they gave into the mob. They don’t deserve one inch. Was hoping for more of a push back.

  4. If you want to save the images on the jersey, then this is the kind of conscession you have to make. Mutual respect and cooperation can do a lot.

    Personally, I know the jersey will have to change someday. Personally, I’d rather a support an organization that did this because it was the right thing without requiring threats from the league or outside parties. This is an olive branch in that direction.

  5. Smart move to get ahead of the curve. I’m hopeful we can keep the name and the logo, but if not it’s been a good ride and I won’t have any complaints. Just to add, I’ve seen a few First Nations guys wearing it so not everyone is offended.

  6. Classy to do certain things. Donot ever change the logo. That is iconic like Ben Hogan. You donot change things like that. The general public can suck it up.

  7. Thank god this was announced today! All those fans traveling to the United Center to cheer on the hawks should leave their headdresses at home. Phew. I wonder though if we can wear them when the series goes back to Edmonton for games 3 and 4

  8. Never saw it as a big issue at the United Center and did not see many of the head dresses in display at the games.Odd time for this to come out given that there will be no hockey or fans at the United Center for at least 6 months.

  9. All that being said,the Hawks looked decent tonight.Little off on some passing but they played hard all 3 periods.

  10. Hawks looked good although only saw the 2nd
    Glad Kubalik is back with 19-20 and nice to see Dach with some PK time
    It’s just an exhibition game but an important tune up – better to look god than bad
    Hawks in 5!

  11. If the purpose of this ban on headdresses is to placate the political correct knee benders, this measure doesn’t go far enough. If the purpose is to genuinely dissociate the Hawks organization with Native American stereotypes, this measure doesn’t go far enough. This half measure seems more like thumbing their nose than an actual “awokening” … and I kind of like that. Prostrating oneself before the mob is antithetical to American liberty and causes more harm in the long run than it purports to make right. Hyper-sensitivity isn’t cured by changing the world – that’s plain as day – the mob just moves on to the next monster under their bed. I’m not denying there are actual mountains to be conquered, only that making mountains out of mole hills results in never getting to the actual mountains.

    Oh well, I guess I’ll go cancel my headdress order from Amazon. Probably the face paints, buckskin leggings and toy tomahawk too.

  12. Oh yeah … there was hockey last night and it was really nice to see the boys in a game against another team, even if it was only an exhibition game. Beating the Blues is always fun but they didn’t play their usual “spirited” game which gave the Hawks a lot more space to play than they will have against Edmonton on Saturday. Accolades can be handed out to many of the Hawks which is a whole lot better than not, but the true test starts Saturday. Here’s hoping we see the same effort then.

  13. The headdress ban is a good move – ethically and politically. Wearing a headdress isn’t quite blackface but it’s on the same continuum.

    However the logo is a another question. I’ve seen it supported by First Nations groups in the past as honouring the indigenous leader Blackhawk but I would like to know if that’s a consensus opinion in the indigenous community or not. To me it’s definitely not in the same racist ballpark as the Washington NFL team and I’m hopeful that indigenous people see it as symbol of respect but then I’m not culturally impacted in the way indigenous people are by icons of their heritage.

    I’m cautiously optimistic that the logo will survive perhaps eventually with a tweak or two in consultation with First Nations.

  14. The problem with seeking consensus is that it facilitates the victimhood pathology of the few to demand their needs be met. How about treating everyone like adults who don’t expect perfection in this imperfect world. If the majority of Native Americans find something offensive, they are capable on their own to raise the issue and demand it be addressed. They don’t need the mob to take up a cause they themselves can handle if they so choose. Treating everyone with equal respect also includes treating them like adults capable of running their own lives and fighting the battles they choose to fight rather then helpless victims who need others to protect them from things they may not even acknowledge as a problem.

  15. Personally i see this as showing class by the organization, by taking initiative in an area where it is questionable. Agree Wrap the Blackhawks name and what it honours is still acceptable, not a derogatory nickname like other teams who have changed their names to protect their bottom line.

  16. Wrap and Ian, I hope you’re right and this headdress ban is (1) done for the right reason (i.e. not done for political expediency), and (2) that it doesn’t embolden the cancel culture warriors to demand more, and more, and more.

  17. I think the organization has always been respectful, and think the logo is done well and not in a derogatory way at all. On the other hand, some white guy with a headdress and $60 worth of United Center beer in his belly is something we should all be happy to see go away.

  18. Apart from cultural issues already in discussion, I always thought those that wore a headdress were rude and inconsiderate to those fans sitting behind them since the damn things blocked a clear view of the ice.

    While game meant zip last night I must say it was really enjoyable to watch a live hockey game, and considering it was the Blues a nice thing to see the boys get a shutout win.

    Lets Go Hawks!

  19. Phil, good point. Americans should be free to exercise their liberties as long as it doesn’t impinge upon other people’s liberties – such as wearing something that would obstruct the vision of those sitting behind them. Simple consideration for others would go a long way.

  20. Nice to see a game after all these tough months. I was pleased to see Kubalik on the top line – he looked good. I also thought DeHaan played well and was pretty physical – the shoulder must feel good. Will be interesting to see how Crow does on Saturday with so little preparation.

    Ian – Does the re-seeding mean that for every round that the Hawks advance in the Western Conference they will have to play the highest seeded team in the next round? I’ve read the description several times and it remains confusing.

  21. MS – pretty sure that’s a yes to your question but Ian please correct me if I’m wrong

  22. Thanks Wrap. Not that I have expectations of going deep in the playoffs but this format makes things even more challenging.

  23. That’s correct, Blackhawks play top remaining seed each round.

    Been avoiding this but if Kane’s and Toew’s lines remain together to start next year, a 3rd line of Cst, Dach, Lefreniere would look pretty good.

  24. Hawks in 4. The team looks loose and playing with found/house money.
    Just a gut feeling.

    If that happens, time to start scouting from #16 and down for the draft. Lots of good players. We should come away with 4 really good prospects.

    I’m thinking Maatta gets dealt at the draft. Just speaking with people, I doubt he is back. The beat writers keep talking about a buyout, but I think they will move him to a team that needs NHL level defensemen, such as Ottawa or Buffalo.
    The good news is he can actually play and is a legitimate NHL defenseman who is a Stanley Cup winner. Just not worth $4 Million.

    Not a lot of intel out there right now. Just what I said above.

  25. Thx Craig, agree Maatta obvious one to be moved. That could give room to sign rfas most likely to bridge deals and maybe if ltir is there to start year, do a Cody Franson type deal on opening day with one of them or Crawford. Then make some in season moves to balance cap if bonuses need some room, maybe expansion draft takes a caphit too.

    Alot of predictions that draft day will bring surprises after first 3 or 4 picks on who drops and who moves up in draft due to limited scouting opportunities this year. So sounds like some names may be available at 16 we aren’t expecting. Anyway you look at it playoff experience or high pick is a win win to me.

  26. Maatta’s buyout is so low that if a team doesn’t want all his caphit, retained salary wouldn’t be worth it unless return made it happen.

  27. Curious if others have read the Danny Wirtz interview in the Sun Times. I know nothing about Danny but i didn’t come away very impressed. Lots of buzzwords and phrases like working on a “new vision” and “reimagining the potential of hockey”. Also the search for a new president is in its “infancy”. My takeaway is that Danny Wirtz will be named president prior to next season. It also feels like SB and JC are in no imminent danger.

  28. I didn’t bother to read the Danny Wirtz interview and it sounds like it was time well not spent. :=)

  29. re: a few of the comments, specifically “If the majority of Native Americans find something offensive, they are capable on their own to raise the issue and demand it be addressed.”

    This has been brought up somewhere in the neighborhood of a million times by Native American groups in the past. Just like the whole name of the Washington NFL team has been brought up by groups for decades. The reality is now we’re actually hearing the complaints and organizations are being forced to act on them. Wearing a headdress to a game was always stupid – the people sitting behind you can’t see and you’ve got about 4 inches of leg room at the United Center to put it down between your legs in the spilled beer when you take it off. It’s disrespectful and was always unnecessary and they did away with it.

    This has nothing to do with the so-called “cancel culture warriors” and everything to do with us just being better.

  30. I have been going to Chicago Blackhawks games for over 50 years and have never once had someone wearing a head dress obstruct my view.Just must have been lucky I guess.

  31. Florida State. Arnt they the people who do the chant with there arms. Florida the black/colored baby the bait for alligators. I mean there is some sick stuff out there.

    At least the Blackhawks name/logo are respectful for what it means.

  32. MS you nailed it. A lot of mumbo jumbo from Danny W. None of it was specific just broad statements about culture, very little about winning hockey games.

    I will say this. We do need to cut the umbilical cord with nostalgia. And for that I’m glad Danny W is in place. Way too many player reunions with paltry results. From Oduya to Ladd to Campbell to Versteeg to Shaw, that decade is over.

    Time to push forward. Wirtz is clearly aware of that.

  33. I kind of liked those coming back when we had the opportunity. Whether it was Steeger when we had one of the two best rosters and won the Stanley Cup or the last few yrs were we didnt have a top 10 team and had guys like Shawzer back that was fine as well. We brought those guy back when we could.

    Now for when the young wave is ready and the bulk of the roster is the young wave. yea no need then.

    Do not think it hurt any to have those guys back during those yrs. Even when you think about 65 draft picks in the trades you sort of have tom combine the two 65 trades and see that we got Debrincat out that exchange. Who did MTL get. So to me that was a good trade.

  34. It’s great that the games begin-and I think it will be safe which is key.

    re Tab’s comment
    This has nothing to do with the so-called “cancel culture warriors” and everything to do with us just being better.

    Right on-I like many grow tired of people always being upset, we are too sensitive at times, but the injustices and real systemic racism that is prevalent needs to be addressed by all people. This one is no-brainer.

  35. Ok now ..enough…let’s make prédiction for this afternoon game
    Hawks loose in second overtime 3-2 On a lucky bounce.
    Num 77 first goal in playoff.

  36. Please explain the term ‘systemic racism’ to me because obviously others define the term differently than I do. Are there individuals who are racist – yes, among all races there are people who judge others by the color of their skin rather than the content of their character, but is the “system” set up to disadvantage on race over the other – NO. The ACTUAL facts (i.e. not the half truths and misinformation peddled by those who seek to gain by accusing others of racism) disprove the system is racist. I’ve worked in corporate America for almost 50 years and throughout that time I’ve worked with many people of color and they were not treated any differently than I was – by me or our employer.

    There is no doubt there was systemic racism for many decades after the Civil war and the cultural change to rectify that took a long time – too long – but to believe America is still a racist country is just plain being ignorant of the plain facts.

    I’m a Christian who was raised to not judge people by the color of their skin. One of the best memories in my life was when I watched that Martin Luther King Jr speech. It gave me the warmth of love welling up in my heart. It made me believe that my black brothers were going to be OK. Now, 50+ years later, his daughter and many in the black community have said, he would be appalled at that his dream has been corrupted by those who purport to fight against racial injustice by using reverse racism.

  37. Thats a big part of the worlds problem is most people are not Christians. I am proud I am. The Lord knows this though and uses it. Not everyone can be a Christian. Thats by design.

  38. I’m not claiming to be better than anyone – being a Christian doesn’t mean I don’t struggle with human weakness. The point I was making was that the Christian teaching I’ve had since I was a child taught that we are all God’s children – every race – and that has shaped my thinking on the matter of racism. Both my parents modeled that truth to me and my siblings – others are not as fortunate to have that. Being a Christian doesn’t prevent you from being a racist any more than it prevents you from succumbing to all manner of human weakness anymore than not being a Christian guarantees you will be evil. People are people, usually some combination of good and bad in each person.

    So I’m not wearing my Christianity like a badge of honor – only that it shaped my belief that racism is wrong and that means all forms of racism – including the actual unacknowledged systemic racism of low expectations perpetuated by the government programs that purport to help the black community but actually make things worse for them by coercing them into dependency.

  39. I apologize, but before I shutdown my non-hockey rant, I need to say that this affects me deeply, not only as an American, but as the father of a police officer. My daughter has been a cop for almost 20 years and she doesn’t have a racist bone in her body. To watch as she is called a racist because she wears a badge is not only wrong, it’s hurtful to her, to her family and to society at large. As many have said before me, the only time I will kneel is before my Lord. Period.

  40. re: Florida State – the university has maintained an excellent relationship with the Seminole tribe and has their blessing to wear the colors and have the “chief” as their mascot.

  41. NHL cowards just had some puke give the BLM speech kneeled to nation anthem but not to Canada anthem. Could it be that Canada would explode NHL must be saying only US is racist. Go Kiss off prick cowards ! Kneel only to God. All lives matter. Back the blue. Fuk this website I’m Done like the Hawks

  42. We agree on one thing ER-there are individual people who are very racist.
    (Actually two-the vast majority of cops are great people-kind and fair)

    Love the Blackhawk effort

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