Cancel Outrage Requires No Mirrors: WaPo Writer Slams Buccaneers Mascot While Being a Pirate Lover Herself

AP Photo/Charlie Riedel

Another example of intolerance flowing in only one direction.

We just saw the culmination of the NFL season and since many people were enjoying something at the same time, there is a faction of the country that is compelled to come forward and dump on the proceedings. The Super Bowl is a major event enjoyed by millions, so of course, there had to be those who were not the center of attention, demanding some form of recognition by being contrarian.

Mostly these are easily ignored cranks, but on occasion, they go so far in their social activist outrage they beg to be recognized — but not in the way they intended. Take as an example this reality show contestant who is running for a district attorney seat in New York, cramming multiple virtue-signaling entries inside a single tweet.

The media is no less prone to this desire to dump on the frivolity. Over at the Washington Post, they took a look at the participants of the NFL championship game and they saw problems with the representation of one team. The surprising aspect was they did not take aim at the arrowhead-wielding franchise, as expected, instead finding issues with the franchise from Florida. The best is that the complaint arrives from an individual who is guilty of the very glorification she alleges is a problem.

This may come as a shock to…well, to nobody, but the team christened the Buccaneers are actually named after some historical figures who were themselves rather problematic. Thankfully, WaPo saw fit to dedicate column space to a historian who could lend some shading on the issue, and as a result, we have come to learn that those homicidal and plundering pirates may be considered to have a negative connotation.

Jamie L.H. Goodall is a staff historian at the U.S. Army Center of Military History, and in a recent op-ed, she goes into detail affirming for us details that should be evident to anyone over the age of 5 years old. The first issue is the original team logo was a more Hollywood portrayal of the character, but when they changed the logo and team colors in 1997, the use of a cutlass to fly the Jolly Roger became ‘’more aggressive, menacing’’. 

We also learn there is a danger in romanticizing pirates. ’’Why? Because it takes these murderous thieves who did terrible things — like locking women and children in a burning church — and makes them a symbol of freedom and adventure, erasing their wicked deeds from historical memory.’’ I am at loss as to how a team employs a logo that can be deemed menacing while at the same time being accused of erasing the menace.

I am also at a loss how an individual can consider it dangerous to romanticize pirates while she has done so herself. For example, how do we take the stern lecture about not glamorizing the life and imagery of these hateful and murderous individuals when she has decided it perfectly acceptable to get a large tattoo of one of these unacceptable historical figures?

We can assume that Goodall has herself fallen prey to the very issue she raises, that ”Perhaps time has dulled us to the atrocities committed by these 17th and 18th-century outlaws.” Yes, Jamie, this seems plausible, and perhaps those who have been dulled to those atrocities should not condemn others for being so dulled.

The historian has clearly received her share of blowback for her frontal assault on the broadside of NFL history, given that she has locked down her social media accounts after publication. In her accounts, there were other pictures of her sporting regalia emblazoned with pirate iconography, in a clear sign that she has been dulled to the violence of these ocean raiders and romanticizing the troubling and complicated history of the subject.

It makes sense that she would wave the white flag and lock her account down in a sign of surrender. Her hypocritical stance on the issue of pirates means her accusations were completely blown out of the water.