Baton Rouge (CBS HOUSTON) – A petition on the website Change.org has been started to try and have the powers that be at Louisiana State University to change the mascot of the school away from the Tigers.
According to the petition, which as of this post has 346 signatures, the LSU Tigers took on the mascot to honor a Confederate army regiment called the Louisiana Tigers which had a history of violence towards black slaves and free black Americans.
“It is incredibly insulting for any African American to have to attend to a school that honors confederate [sic] militantism,” the petition reads. “It is already hard enough to be black at LSU, and these symbols must be changed.”
The petition also points to Mike, the live Tiger kept at LSU as a mascot for the school calling it “cruel” to cage a wild animal.
The LSU official athletic site corroborates the petition’s claim with a story of the team receiving their nickname in 1895 from their first football coach Dr. Charles E. Coates:
“It was the custom at that time, for some occult reason, to call football teams by the names of vicious animals; the Yale Bulldogs and the Princeton Tigers, for example. This is still the vogue. It struck me that purple and gold looked Tigerish enough and I suggested that we choose “Louisiana Tigers,” all in conference with the boys. The Louisiana Tigers had represented the state in Civil War and had been known for their hard fighting.”
The state of Louisiana has been removing Confederate memorial statues over the last few months.