A Kentucky high school has scuttled plans to name its sports teams the Stallions after an online petition deemed the name was “inappropriate and sexist.”
School officials have said the students will be allowed to pick “a horse-themed mascot grounded in the land’s equestrian heritage” for the new Frederick Douglass High School in Lexington. The school will retain the orange and green colors and logo already announced. Racers or Thoroughbreds are among the early suggestions.
The initial choice of Stallions came because the school, which opens next fall, will be located on part of the Hamburg Places farms, where racehorses — and six Kentucky Derby winners — were sired.
After the school reversed course, another online petition was started to keep the mascot, saying, “The point of the Stallions was not to denounce women, but to honor the rich history of the land the school is being built upon.”
“Moving forward, we will keep the Keeneland green and orange colors and horse image in the school logo to pay homage to Lexington’s rich history in the horse industry, but we will allow the incoming students of Frederick Douglass High School to choose their mascot. …
“Since the public announcement of the mascot, we have received feedback from some community members who have concerns about the mascot and we want assure our constituents that there was absolutely no intent to offend or upset anyone. We also recognize that there is support from others in our community to honor the former stallions of Hamburg Place farm,” Caulk said.
“We want our new high school to be a source of unity and pride for our entire community and we thank all of those who have taken the time to reach out and engage in the conversation about this issue. Public engagement and advocacy are central to the success of our Fayette County Public Schools, and we are committed to listening to the people we serve as we seek to provide the very best education for each and every student.”
The online petition was created by Diane Cahill, who told the Herald-Leader: “How did they come up with this? The connotation of stallions pertaining to a girls’ softball team or basketball team just seemed really, really strange to me — a male breeding horse.”
According to USA TODAY Sports’ database of high school nicknames nationally, at least 13 other schools use Stallions: South Lamar High in Millport, Ala.; Duncan Polytechnic High in Fresno, Calif.; Sierra High in Colorado Springs, Colo.; American Heritage Delray in Boca Raton, Fla.; Providence School in Jacksonville, Fla.; Schlagle High in Kansas City, Kan.; Sterling Heights (Mich.); South Columbus High in Tabor City, N.C.; Southwest Onslow in Jacksonville, N.C.; Lee Central in Bishopville, S.C.; South Pointe High in Rock Hill (S.C.); Williamsburg Academy in Kingstree, S.C.; North Mesquite High in Mesquite, Texas; and Green Run in Virginia Beach (Va.).