Gun Violence Leads NY College to Shed ‘Shooter’ Mascot

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In the wake of the Las Vegas shooting in October and other incidents of widely publicized gun violence around the country, Marist College athletic director Tim Murray has made the decision to rename the school’s traditional Red Fox mascot, who has worn the name “Shooter” since 1979.

Murray told the Poughkeepsie Journal, “Unfortunately, in our culture today, there is a negative stigma to that term ‘shooter.’ And I just didn’t think it was appropriate for us at this time to perpetuate that term.”

The newly christened Frankie the Fox debuted his new jersey last weekend at the men’s and women’s basketball opening games, eliciting a varied response from fans, with some supporting the change while others feel it’s unnecessary.

“I think in the times now, you kind of have to do it,” said Marist sophomore Austin Philips. “I thought ‘Shooter’ was fine, but with everything going on now, it’s something they had to do.”

Marist senior Charlie Jerla told the Journal, “Shooter the Fox was named Shooter the Fox years prior to shootings. It’s a mascot, and he has nothing to do with shootings. So I really don’t see why they would change it. But everybody is so sensitive these days.”

Murray stands by the decision, saying, “Our mascot is supposed to be fun, exciting and so on. And if our mascot creates any issues with any person, it’s not worth having that nickname.”

Related: Opinion: There Aren't 'Two Sides' to Offensive Mascots

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