Reid calls for Nevada to reassess ‘Runnin’ Rebels’ nickname

WASHINGTON– Amid new concerns over symbols of the Confederacy, Sen. Harry Reid on Tuesday said Nevada ought to reevaluate the “Runnin’ Rebels” nickname for UNLV.

Reid stated the Nevada Board of Regents “should take that up and have a look at it. It depends on the Board of Regents and I think they ought to take a look at it.”

Later, Reid representative Kristen Orthman confirmed that Reid was “calling for action” on the nickname for the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Signs of the Confederacy have come under new criticism in the consequences of the racially-inspired shooting of black churchgoers June 17 in Charleston, S.C. Supporters for elimination state the public positioning of Confederate flags, and now statuaries of Confederate figures, might suggest a main endorsement of the separatist motion based at least in part on the embrace of slavery.

In Nevada, the UNLV nickname and mascot drew greatly on the Confederacy in the early days of the university. The school founded in 1957 located itself as the Southern equivalent of the more recognized University of Nevada, Reno and its Wolf Pack name.

The very first version of the mascot was a cartoon wolf clad in Confederate military attire called Beauregard– the surname of Confederate Gen. Pierre Gustave Toutant Beauregard.

The student government was originally the Confederated Students of the University of Nevada, and the football group’s helmet were embellished with Confederate flag decals, according to a school history.

The signs were toned down and Beauregard was abolished in 1976 after a group of black professional athletes whined to late former UNLV President Don Baepler. The Hey Reb mascot designed to resemble a minuteman first appeared in 1983. He was altered to the square-jawed, mustachioed mascot in 1997.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., disagreed with Reid, stating the senator’ s attention is misdirected to the UNLV nickname.,

“Senator Reid need to be less worried with relabeling sports groups and more concerned with passing the National Defense Permission and Appropriation bills,” Heck said in a statement.

“While UNLV’s initial mascot caused debate, which was appropriately attended to in the late ’70s, the current UNLV mascot, Hey Reb!, has actually been the mascot considering that 1983 and has no relation to the Civil War, the Confederacy, or slavery,” Heck said. “As the school states on its web site, he was produced to portray an independent mountain guy and to embody Rebel spirit at athletic occasions and student and alumni activities.”

Michael Wixom, a Las Vegas-based attorney who represents southern Clark County on the Board of Regents, stated the group has actually never ever talked about any concerns with the school’s mascot and kept in mind that he doesn’t feel it has ever been analyzed as racist.

He kept in mind that the original mascot’s Confederate ties were cut decades ago after a group of black athletes whined about its costume and name in the 1970s.

Wixom stated he ‘d gladly discuss the issue prior to the board if someone requests members to do so– as of early this afternoon, Reid’s office had not reached out.

“I’ve never ever seen the mascot used in an unfavorable way,” Wixom said. “I personally don’t see it as a concern.”

In South Carolina, Gov. Nikki Haley has actually called for the long questionable Confederate flag to be taken down from in front of the state Capitol. Wal-Mart and eBay have revealed they will certainly not sell Confederacy-themed products.

Reid, the Senate Democratic leader, informed press reporters that the Senate would be analyzing lots of statuaries that line the halls of the U.S. Capitol. A minimum of 8 Confederate historical figures are memorialized in statuary, consisting of Jefferson Davis, who was elected president of the Confederate States.

Senate Bulk Leader Mitch McConnell said Tuesday that a statue of Davis must be removed from the Kentucky Capitol in Frankfort.

When it comes to statuaries of Confederate icons in the Capitol, McConnell said, “with regard to all the statues in this structure, I honestly am not familiar with exactly what we have and what we don’t have.”

Federal law allows each state to place two statues in the Capitol, and Reid said there might not be much that Congress can do about them aside from make states “comprehend who they have here.”

However, he included, “it would be very important that we look at a few of the statues here that are not right here as a result of exactly what the states have done.”

Reid stated he would contribute to the list of questionable statuaries that of Pat McCarran, who served as Nevada senator from 1932 to 1954. While he composed important legislation in the fields of civil air travel and antitrust law, McCarran also was known as a virulent anti-communist who likewise held strong views on race.

Reid, who has actually spoken out in the past versus McCarran’s tradition, stated Tuesday the Nevadan’s statue “must be put out to pasture someplace. I think he doesn’t represent exactly what our country stands for and definitely exactly what Nevada stands for.

“Statues are very important,” Reid stated. “They send a message.”

Nevada’s 2nd statue is of Sarah Winnemucca, a 19th century Paiute activist and instructor.

This is an establishing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Review-Journal Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at stetreault@reviewjournal.com!.?.! or 202-783-1760. Discover him on Twitter: @STetreaultDC. Contact Review-Journal author Ana Ley at 702-387-5512. Discover&her on&Twitter @la_ley

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