Protest at South Point High School over removal of mascot

Protest surrounding South Point High School mascot

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (WBTV) - A protest Friday night at a local high school football game. At the heart of the controversy is the school’s mascot, the Red Raider. Many at South Point High School feel the symbol is offensive to Native Americans and has to come down.

Football Friday Night Fans at South Point High School say it’s a whole new level of football once you come onto the field. The lights, the sounds, the excitement. But while fans inside were cheering, outside, they were chanting.

A group of about three dozen protesters consisting of activists and students, rallied to change the school’s mascot.

“This mascot is harming students and creating a hostile learning environment,” said Laura Boyce.

At the center of the controversy is the Red Raider. The symbol depicts a Native American man with red skin, and it’s everywhere.

“We’re more than a mascot, we’re more than feather and we’re more than a mohawk.”

Hayley Brezeale is a member of the Catawba Nation. She graduated from East Gaston High, home of the Warriors, so she’s fighting a war on two fronts.

“We want to honor them in truth. We want to honor them in sincerity. Not by discrimination and stereotypes,” said Brezeale.

But not everyone feels that way.

“That Indian means a lot to me.”

Anthony Cathcart went to school here back in the day. He says they pulled the symbol off the helmets in the mid-80s. But it went right back on the following year.

“We tried that out and I think it jinxed us. We didn’t win a game that year,” Cathcart exclaimed.

Herman Gredwy says he doesn’t have a problem with the Red Raider either.

“I actually like the Red Raiders. This is a good mascot.”

But the protesters vow to keep the fight going, hoping to retire the symbol to the history books.

“They can’t really ignore us much anymore,” said Natalie O’Connor.

“I don’t see those Indians coming off the sides of those helmets anytime soon,” Cathcart said.

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