For decades, the University of Notre Dame been known as the Fighting Irish, but now in the woke age of erasing American history, the left would like the university to re-examine the popular nickname.
Yesterday, The Washington Redskins announced that after years of pressure from the left to change their name, that they’ve caved, and will be retiring the Redskins name.
Native Americans gave surprising answers when PragerU asked them if they think the Washington Redskins name is offensive?
— PragerU (@prageru) July 13, 2020
This isn’t about protecting people from being offended, it’s about erasing American history, which brings us to the progressive left’s latest attempt to change history, this time, the target is Notre Dame University’s nickname, the “Fighting Irish.”
Daniel Morrison of Slap the Sign, Notre Dame’s Fansided site, has launched a campaign for the university to consider changing its nickname.
Morrison explains: The term came from sportswriters, who would use it to describe the manner in which Notre Dame played. Preferable to other terms used for the team, like Vagabonds, Dirty Irish, and Papists. Others claim it came from an Irish brigade during the Civil War, and Notre Dame merely adopted it. Notre Dame’s third president, Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., was in that brigade. Yet another origin is said to come from a halftime speech in 1909, when a player called out the Irish players on the team, saying, “What’s the matter with you guys? You’re all Irish and you’re not fighting worth a lick.”
Unequivocally, the origins of the nickname stem from a desire to differentiate Notre Dame for its Catholicism. It is a negative portrayal of Catholics and immigrants. It is a stereotype of the violent Irish. It’s just been spun into a positive over time.
Now, in all of this, it would be easy to see the nickname “Fighting Irish” as offensive. However, many people don’t find it offensive at all. In fact, they have embraced the nickname. As for myself, it didn’t bother me growing up, despite being Catholic and of Irish descent. Being the “Fighting Irish” wasn’t why I rooted for Notre Dame, though many of my friends growing up did for this reason.
However, over time, my personal feelings on that have changed.
When the Irish came to America, they were second class citizens. In my hometown, so closely associated with Ireland that its original name was “Ireland Parrish,” there were signs in windows that stated “No Irish. No dogs.” My ancestors dug the canals and built the dam that powered Holyoke, Massachusetts into the industrial revolution. As for the jobs, “Help wanted: No Irish need apply.”
This, their welcome to a nation with streets paved with gold, as they fled the genocide of Black 47. As they left an island stolen from them, a language eradicated, a culture razed they came to the United States and weren’t trusted for their religion. This, in a land built on the basis of freedom of religion. They came to the United States on coffin ships. They lived in slums. This, to build the United States up for someone else.
So, yes, it bothers me that the term “Fighting Irish” is used for a nickname. It bothers me that its origins are based on stereotypes, and trying to make the Catholic team seem lesser than their opponents. It bothers me that their mascot and logo are a leprechaun with his fists up like he’s John L. Sullivan.
Legendary Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz appeared on Fox News’ Ingraham Angle with host Laura Ingraham where he discussed the lunacy of the left’s latest ploy to erase history.
Holtz told Ingraham: “They were named the fighting Irish because the Ku Klux Klan tried to attack the Catholics,” Holtz said.
“They went down and fought the Ku Klux Klan and that is where the name the Fighting Irish came.”
Legendary former Notre Dame Coach Lou Holtz on reconsidering the "Fighting Irish" name:
"They were named the fighting Irish because the Ku Klux Klan tried to attack the Catholics. They went down and fought the Ku Klux Klan and that is where the name the Fighting Irish came." pic.twitter.com/Nd9pmcmpDY
— Mary Margaret Olohan (@MaryMargOlohan) July 10, 2020
“Next thing you’re gonna tell me, they wanna topple my statue at Notre Dame. That’s when I will really get mad.”
On their website, Notre Dame explains the “Fighting Irish” nickname is tied to Irish immigrant who fought for the Union during the Civil War:
The Fighting Irish nickname was first coined for the Irish immigrant soldiers who fought for the Union during the Civil War in what became called the Irish Brigade, including three regiments from New York. Their valor was later memorialized in the poetry of Joyce Kilmer. That’s also the Irish way: Ireland’s poetry is often better than its fighting, turning defeat into eternal glory. The University has a valid claim to the nickname because the brigade’s beloved chaplain was Rev. William Corby, C.S.C., who later became the third president of Notre Dame.
The first use of the nickname “Fighting Irish” for Notre Dame sports teams may have been in 1909 when legend says that a player’s speech at the halftime of a football game against Michigan inspired a furious comeback. He reportedly yelled to his teammates — with names like Dolan, Kelly, Glynn, and Ryan: “What’s the matter with you guys? You’re all Irish and you’re not fighting worth a lick.” The news reports that picked up the story attributed the victory to the Fighting Irishmen.
The Notre Dame website addresses the connection of the “Fighting Irish” nickname and the KKK:
A little-known event occurring in 1924 may have inadvertently contributed to Fighting Irish lore. In a recent book, alumnus Todd Tucker describes how Notre Dame students violently clashed with the anti-Catholic Ku Klux Klan in that year. A weekend of riots drove the Klan out of South Bend and helped bring an end to its rising power in Indiana at a time when the state’s governor was among its members.
Finally, in 1927, university president Rev. Matthew Walsh, C.S.C., decided that the “Fighting Irish” was preferable to the school’s more derisive nicknames. He said in a statement, “The university authorities are in no way averse to the name ‘Fighting Irish’ as applied to our athletic teams… I sincerely hope that we may always be worthy of the ideal embodied in the term ‘Fighting Irish.’”