WHL team to stop using controversial mascot

Grigory Dukor / Reuters

The Prince Albert Raiders of the Western Hockey League will no longer use a mascot that was criticized for resembling a Middle Eastern caricature.

The mascot, known as the Boston Raider, has been discontinued by the team.

It got its name because of a Boston Pizza sponsorship and was a throwback to an old Raiders logo that depicted a man wearing a kaffiyeh, a traditional Middle Eastern headdress. 

The team released a statement Friday:

The Prince Albert Raiders announce there will not be at a team mascot at their Western Hockey League home games until further notice.  The organization is taking into consideration all feedback received this week. The mascot unveiled Nov. 14, 2014 was a derivation of the team’s original logo with the goal of enriching the game night experience for our loyal fans and was not intended to be offensive in nature. The organization apologizes if anyone was offended by the character. There will be no further comment from the organization on this matter.

Boston Pizza International spokesman Perry Schwartz told the Canadian Press that the company wasn't made aware of the mascot before it was unveiled.

"Our franchisee didn't see the new mascot or logo prior to it being unveiled on the weekend," he said. "This was simply part of their sponsorship package as a supporter of junior hockey in the community."

- With h/t to the Regina Leader-Post

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WHL team to stop using controversial mascot
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