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Central drops “Red Raiders” nickname after years of complaints

Brad Williams

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La Crosse Central is dropping its “Red Raiders” nickname, after decades of controversy.

The La Crosse School District announced Monday that both the name “Red Raiders” and the existing mascot on horseback are being retired, as part of the district’s goal to be “culturally sensitive and inclusive.”

The change would complete a transition started in the late 1980’s, when the school was persuaded to drop its Indian mascot, which was changed to a knight.

Critics also had wanted the “Red Raiders” name eliminated at that time, just months after UW-La Crosse replaced its “Indians” nickname with “Eagles,” but the mascot change was made as a compromise.

Central plans to recommend a new nickname to the La Crosse School Board early next year.

A native of Prairie du Chien, Brad graduated from UW - La Crosse and has worked in radio news for more than 30 years, mostly in the La Crosse area. He regularly covers local courts and city and county government. Brad produces the features "Yesterday in La Crosse" and "What's Buried on Brad's Desk." He also writes the website "Triviazoids," which finds odd connections between events that happen on a certain date, and he writes and performs with the local comedy group Heart of La Crosse. Brad been featured on several national TV programs because of his memory skills.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Avatar

    Jeff Blakeley

    November 9, 2020 at 2:05 pm

    The mascot is a knight, but the color red seems to be a trigger point for those who are imagining things beyond what’s said. Therefore I propose the color blue which is the push nowadays and of course the big thing we have had to swallow in La Crosse in recent years the mascot could be a baby. So maybe the board should consider the Central Blue Babies as a nice name change.

  2. Avatar

    Jeff Blakeley

    November 9, 2020 at 2:07 pm

    The mascot is a knight, but the color red seems to be a trigger point for those who are imagining things beyond what’s said. Therefore I propose the color blue which is the push nowadays and of course the big thing we have had to swallow in La Crosse in recent years the mascot could be a baby. So maybe the board should consider the Central Blue Babies as a nice name change. It’s hard to believe that people of La Crosse have been whining about this for 40 years!!!!

    • Avatar

      R. Walker

      November 9, 2020 at 8:06 pm

      Don’t forget about “The Sculpture” that had to be removed from Riverside Park.
      Apparently that bothered people for over 60 years!
      Perhaps we need to just use a single letter for park and school logos. (C) Central High (R) Riverside Park
      One of my favorite NFL football teams finally caved in to peer pressure.
      I wish I had a dollar for all the jokes I heard about my ethnic background growing up 60 years ago.
      OH wait: THEY WERE JOKES!
      Grow up LAX and ask Santa for some thicker skin so you can cope with all these offensive symbols.

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