The internet is abuzz at the fact that there’s actually a high school team called the “Cotton Pickers” — something a local reporter made public, and which he now regrets.
KIII 3 Sports’ Chris Thomasson tweeted a video Friday of the Robstown High School football team taking the field for their season opener against the London High School Pirates near Corpus Christi, TX … but he also dropped Robstown’s team name, the Cotton Pickers.
The guy’s tweet got picked up and spread like wildfire, with many people aghast and outraged there could actually be a team with such racist connotations — especially in Texas, no less. Their mascot isn’t very subtle either — it depicts a cotton plant, straight up. And yes, there are Black players on the football team … so, what gives?
People are confused on twitter after finding out schools mascot in Corpus Christi is named the “Cotton Pickers” pic.twitter.com/P1DslTU9Bp
That same reporter followed up and said he didn’t mean to stir the pot by dropping the full name — he says he never says the full thing on air and usually just refers to the team as the “Pickers.” He also provided context … saying “Cotton Pickers” is something the school board there recently voted to stick to it after consulting the community, which is apparently predominantly Latino. Many of those folks do, in fact, pick cotton and just don’t view it as a slur.
There are some local reports of residents there even being proud of the name — as they view it as honest work steeped in local tradition and heritage … from their POVs anyway.
So, context matters. I have thought the name should have been changed for years now.@RobstownISD’s board decided to keep the name a few years ago. It’s based in the Hispanic culture.
But believe me, I get it. I said “probably” when I shouldn’t have. It’s 2020. Time to change. https://t.co/nGfUITMsLQ
That said, Thomasson acknowledges it’s probably time to change the name, adding he’s advocated for that for years. Fact is, the history of cotton picking in this country usually conjures up just one thing for most — AKA, slavery — and that alone should be reason enough to pivot.
Time for hard talks in 2020.