Utah School Rejects ‘Cougar’ Mascot to Avoid Offending Older Women
Time: Team mascots have a history of offending. Organizations from professional football franchises to inconspicuous elementary schools have often come under scrutiny for mascots referencing Native Americans, for example. But choosing, say, an animal, and not an ethnic group, has generally been a safe bet. Until now.
The term “cougar” has crept into English vernacular to reference an older woman who seeks romantic relationships with younger men. When you search for “cougar” on Google, the Wikipedia entry for “Age disparity in sexual relationships” appears just beneath the traditional feline definition.
To avoid any trace of offensive connotations, the school board instead selected the “Chargers” as the mascot for Corner Canyon High, set to open in 2013. The ban does not bode well for cougars — the feline version, that is — who may also be forced to change their name to something less offensive.
To which I say: