In the past year, we’ve seen several professional sports teams attempt to distance themselves from their problematic mascots and one journalist believes the Tampa Bay Buccaneers deserve to be criticized for romanticizing pirate culture.
Before the start of the Super Bowl on Sunday, Washington Post columnist and pirate historian Jamie L.H. Goodall questioned whether Tampa Bay’s love of pirate culture was problematic due to the long history of brutality from pirates towards Indigenous people in the past.
"There is danger in romanticizing ruthless cutthroats who created a crisis in world trade when they captured and plundered thousands of ships on trade routes between the Americas, Africa and Great Britain," writes @L_Historienne on the Buccaneers. https://t.co/X8gZbzOJAK
— madebyhistory (@madebyhistory) February 5, 2021
Via Washington Post
Yet, while this celebration of piracy seems like innocent fun and pride in a local culture, there is danger in romanticizing ruthless cutthroats who created a crisis in world trade when they captured and plundered thousands of ships on Atlantic trade routes between the Americas, Africa and Great Britain. Why? Because it takes these murderous thieves who did terrible things — like locking women and children in a burning church — and makes them a symbol of freedom and adventure, erasing their wicked deeds from historical memory. These were men (and women) who willingly participated in murder, torture and the brutal enslavement of Africans and Indigenous peoples.
Of course, Goodall’s article wasn’t well-received on the Internet on Super Bowl Sunday.
On Super Bowl Sunday, the @washingtonpost is here to remind us that “normalizing pirates” is problematic.
So, if the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are not cancelled, soon we will all be tolerating raiding galleons, plundering coastal towns, and swashbuckling.https://t.co/W3dNSAtXKz
— Tim Murtaugh (@TimMurtaugh) February 7, 2021
does anybody think pirates were good, upstanding citizens? https://t.co/7cFKOVvcTI
— dr. z (@venividivincky) February 7, 2021
Everything must be canceled.
No fun for anyone. Period.https://t.co/3JGVt9YYVs
— Christian Ziegler 🇺🇸 (@ChrisMZiegler) February 7, 2021
What we should really be “canceling” is The Washington Post where idiocy reigns.
— lynndzee (@lynndzee1) February 7, 2021