Quality Logo Products, an Illinois-based logo printing company, garnered national attention this week when it unveiled a survey titled “The Most Offensive College Mascots In America.” But the survey quietly disappeared from the company’s website after a flood of criticism.
The poll results were previously available at this link. In addition to an “offensive mascots” section, Quality Logo Products asked respondents to note the “sexiest,” “unsexiest, “best and worst mascots,” and “creepiest mascots.”
1,266 people from ages 18 to 79 were polled, according to the company’s website. Most participants hailed from the South (474); 55.4 percent were male, 43.6 percent female, and 1 percent “non-binary.” Almost 11 percent were “bisexual,” 2.8 percent were “gay or lesbian,” and 1.1 percent “preferred not to say.” One hundred twenty-eight mascots were referenced, all from NCAA Division 1 football teams.
The poll results indicated participants found mascots from Florida State University, San Diego State University, the University of Hawaii at Manoa, University of Notre Dame, Oklahoma State University, West Virginia University, University of Nevada, Las Vegas, Arizona State University, New Mexico State University, and University of Virginia to be “offensive.”
Notre Dame, which has a leprechaun mascot, swiftly fired back at Quality Logo. “Our symbols stand as celebratory representations of a genuine Irish heritage at Notre Dame,” the school said in a statement. “A heritage that we regard with respect, loyalty, and affection.”
“In both the upraised fists of the leprechaun mascot and the use of the word ‘Fighting’, the intent is to recognize the determination of the Irish people and, symbolically, the university’s athletes,” Notre Dame also said, which began using the nickname “Fighting Irish” in 1927.
"THE NOTRE DAME MASCOT IS OFFENSIVE!!," said no Irish person…ever…in the history of recorded time. pic.twitter.com/pyorvxBl83
— Eddie McClintock (@EddieMcClintock) August 25, 2021
The woke mob is now trying to cancel Notre Dame's Fighting Irish mascot.
These people are idiots, and should be treated as such. pic.twitter.com/PfwqqRWnvf
— David Hookstead (@dhookstead) August 25, 2021
Notre Dame was also defended by the oldest and largest Catholic group in America, the Ancient Order of Hibernians. The group, based in New Jersey, claimed it was in “disbelief” and that Quality Logo was engaged in a “media-manufactured controversy.”
Arizona State fans did not take too kindly to their mascot, “Sparky the Sun Devil,” being lambasted, either. AZCentral Sports, a state media outlet, decided to do a poll of its own. It asked 1,807 people if they find the school mascot offensive, and 86.5 percent of respondents said “not at all.”
In 1946, the Arizona State University (formerly Arizona State College) mascot was the Bulldog. But the football booster club decided ASU needed something more unique. Welcome, Sparky the Sun Devil 😎☀️ Hear Sparky's fun history from @maritzacdom: https://t.co/CJhipcu5XV
— azcpodcasts (@azcpodcasts) March 23, 2020
The Aurora, Illinois company’s “offensive” survey was clearly absurd. In today’s society, where some are head over heels about the notion of “cultural appropriation,” uncontroversial mascots around for decades are deemed racist or offensive at the drop of a hat.
Mascot canceling has ramped up in recent years, such as in the cases of The Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians. It’s all petty and hyper-sensitive and reflective of an ailing country trying to appease the “woke” cult.
“Each mascot change represents a rupture in our public memory,” Wilfred M. McClay, a professor of history at Hillsdale College and a visiting scholar in American studies at The Heritage Foundation, told The Federalist. “It’s all very sad.”
It gets worse. By Wednesday evening, Quality Logo’s website was revised. The survey was removed. At the top of the blog post now reads a vague disclaimer that does not verbatim announce the removal of the offensive mascots poll, in addition to the “creepiest” poll.
“In response to recent feedback, Quality Logo Products has amended this post,” the added note reads. “Should you have any additional comments or concerns, please contact us at: email@example.com.”
The Federalist emailed Quality Logo to understand why no statement was officially released at the time of the survey deletion and whether the company deems the decision unethical. Quality Logo did not immediately respond to a request for comment, and several individuals did not answer their direct phone lines.
Those that did not answer include all three owners and the four-person marketing team. A member of customer service said he was not even aware of the blog post, or how The Federalist could get in touch with leadership.
Robert C. Cahaly, chief pollster and founder of the Trafalgar Group, told The Federalist he finds the poll questionable.
“Where did they find 1,200 people who had the time to read through 120 mascots?” Cahaly said. “Who the h-ll does that? Was it online? I’d like to know how it was conducted. More information.”
Regardless of people’s thoughts on the survey, its results, and why it was conducted, we all should be on the same page here.
Releasing controversial poll results, then nixing them, calls into question the validity of the survey. Yet it’s not particularly surprising for an organization that specializes in logo printing—not polling—and has not clarified which third-party assisted with the survey in the first place. For all we know, the original poll could have been an unreliable internet survey that the company did not know would provoke such a response.
Sadly, efforts to claim mascots are offensive tend to rely on similarly unreliable information and claims.