New Athletics Logos Met with Mixed Reactions

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA–On April 24, 2020, the University of Virginia announced a new look to their classic logos. 

The announcement was met with criticism. Immediately, fans took to social media to express their frustration.

 

A rising fourth-year student who wished to remain anonymous remarked, “I’ve never heard of a franchise rebranding during a winning era. Nobody had a problem with the logos before; there was no need for a change… Overall, it’s terrible.”

It did not take long after the announcement for the university to find itself in hot water. The “detail added to the handles [of the sabre] to mimic the serpentine walls on grounds” brings the university’s sordid past to the forefront. The serpentine walls in question were built to conceal noise from the slave quarters and make sure the enslaved workers were seen, but not heard.

“I’m just really disappointed to see our athletics division (which is one of the most outfacing parts of the university) support such a racist piece of infrastructure,” said a rising third-year student who wished to remain anonymous. “It’s pretty common knowledge that the serpentine walls are remnants of slavery, and formalizing that and celebrating it through athletics further perpetuates stereotypes that make me wonder how proud I should be to be a Cavalier.”

Other students took to Twitter to make fun of the new logos. “I feel like there was nothing wrong with the original logo, and it’s a great, simple classic logo. Paired with the fact that it alludes to painful parts of the University’s past, I feel it was just unnecessary,” said rising third-year student Stella Connaughton.

 

Not all of the feedback on the logos was negative. Many current and former UVA student-athletes took to Twitter to defend the new logos. This tweet from former basketball player Kyle Guy was retweeted by Athletics Director Carla Williams.

Even Maria Taylor, a prominent analyst for ESPN, announced her support of the rebrand.

Overall, the reactions to the new logos are mixed. It seems like the negative outweighs the positive, but it does not look like UVA is going to step down from their decision any time soon.

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