Swedish ice hockey club to drop Native American logo

STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Swedish ice hockey club Frolunda Indians said on Thursday it intended to change its nickname and logo depicting a Native American chieftain, as it joins a growing number of sports teams giving up their Native American mascots.

Use of Native American tropes and symbols in sport has become contentious, with NFL team Washington retiring its Redskins name and logo in July, amid concerns of cultural appropriation of indigenous cultures.

English rugby team Exeter Chiefs, however, refused to follow suit, saying its logo was “respectful”, but the club did retire its in-game mascot known as ‘Big Chief’.

“Using the Indian logo is not sustainable for the future,” a spokesman for Frolunda told Reuters on Thursday.

Due to the financial strain caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the Gothenburg-based club, officially known as Frolunda HC, will continue with its Indian logo and moniker this season, making the change in 2021, the club said in a statement.

“Changing the logo will not be an easy process and the association will not take it lightly either,” Frolunda said, adding: “the association’s brand, values and soul do not rest in a symbol.”

Reporting by Colm Fulton, editing by Anna Ringstrom and Toby Davis