LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — The online petition calling for a new mascot at UNLV is gaining traction with more than 3,100 signatures.
The creator of the petition claims that the Rebel is ‘racist and is rooted in confederate mythology.’ The petition requests that UNLV’s president holds a campus wide vote to select a new mascot.
The university’s first official mascot was Beauregard, a cartoon wolf wearing a confederate uniform. UNLV says it was an ‘unfortunate’ decision, but one ‘based in fun’ to reflect our rebellion against our rivals to the north- UNR.
Students voted to banish Beauregard in the 70s. Now, fans cheer for the muscular man with the mustache, Hey Reb! He is reportedly inspired by the Western Trailblazers of the 1800s.
Some argue that the new mascot doesn’t sever the confederate connection enough.
There’s a petition calling to get rid of UNLV’s mascot, Hey Reb. Petition says the mascot is “racist and rooted in Confederate mythology.” What do you think?— Kelsey McFarland (@KelseyMarie_TV) June 15, 2020
Jon ‘Jersey’ Goldman performed as Hey Reb! for six years before hanging up the big head in 2013. He says he’d be okay with change, but holds Hey Reb! in high regard.
“If that change is needed to bring everyone together- students, teachers, faculty, athletes, across the board. If it makes more people smile then that’s what needs to happen, that’s the focus,” Goldman said.
UNLV released the following statement: “UNLV is aware of the petition. We are listening to and talking with members of our university and the broader community."