School Changes Name of Defense
The West Orange-Cove school board and superintendent said they “stand firm that Black Lives Matter” and the name of the Mustang football team’s defense the “Chain Gang” is being changed to the “Blue Link.” Also, the high school this fall will offer a course in African American Studies.
The district made the announcement in a statement issued Wednesday morning.
“In light of the current social unrest in our country, and recognizing that we serve a diverse community,” the statement read, referring to the school board and Superintendent Dr. Rickie Harris.
The statement compares “this crisis of social injustice” to the other crises like Harvey and Imelda, and the covid 19 pandemic. “Our response, then and now, will be to provide support to any of our staff or students that need emotional, mental, and physical help that this crisis may bring,” the release said.
The West Orange-Stark High Mustang football team defense has been nick-named the “Chain Gang” for more than three decades. The name derived from the defense holding against the line so tight referees had to bring out the chain team to see if the offense gained a first down.
“Due to the negative historical root of the phrase, we will no longer refer to our defensive unit as the ‘Chain Gang,'” the release said.