The Red Raiders of Colgate University are “Red” no more. The ECAC school announced today that it is dropping the “Red” from its nickname and will now be known simply as the Raiders.
The decision was announced by Colgate’s Board of Trustees, upon the recommendation of the President, Director of Athletics and the members of the Campus Committee on Athletics. The change takes effect immediately.
According to a release issued by the school, the decision to change the nickname was made “to move away from the racial stereotype, which is indeed not the true origin of the nickname for Colgate but may nonetheless be offensive to the general public in ways that undermine the institution’s values and commitments.”
The nickname “Red Raiders” was originally coined in 1932 by Dexter Teed as a reference to the maroon uniforms of Colgate’s football team. However, in later years, the name took on a Native American flavor, with various caricatures and mascots. In the 1970s, the Native American references were officially dropped, but pressure has mounted to change the name anyway as a result of lingering sentiments to the old mascots.
As new uniforms, equipment and publications are phased in by Colgate, they will reflect the new name.