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Petition to change mascot gaining traction

Published: Jul. 24, 2020 at 6:45 PM EDT
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MONONGALIA COUNTY, W.Va (WDTV) - Petitions for and against a mascot change in Morgantown has gotten a lot of traction online.

This comes after the former Washington Redskins temporarily changed its name to the Washington football team. A Morgantown High alum wants the mascot to stay.

Once a Mohigan, always a Mohigan,that's what a number of former Morgantown High students say about the mascot.

A former member of the Mohigan football squad, Joe Bragg recalls playing for the school.

"We did it with pride, we did it with honor, we did it respect," Bragg said.

Bragg made the most out of his time at Morgantown high.

“In 2000, our squad went 14 and 0 and also in 2002 we went 14 and 0 and won two state championships.”

The petition says the mascot itself is “Insensitive” and “Disrespectful” to Native Americans.

"The connotation that's being shown is that 'well, they're portrayed as savages or animals' is simply not true, it's not true here, it never was true," Bragg said.

Another petition to keep the mascot has upwards of 2,000 signatures.

"This is a long-standing tradition and they're opposed to any changes and so again we need to listen to those folks as well and this is a difficult, sensitive situation and it's one that we'll have to work through," Campbell said.

The Morgantown superintendent says he wants what the students want.

"I'm a firm believer that the school belongs to the students," Campbell said.

Alumni of the Morgantown high school say there is a sense of pride and honor along with history that comes with the mascot.

"It was about taking that pride and honor of being a high school out to the football field basketball field classroom or wherever it was and I think if anybody truly came into these walls of this high school, they would find that there's nothing but pride here," Bragg said.

The superintendent says changes have already been made at the school and there is nothing related to Native Americans on the football field.

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