Notre Dame’s leprechaun mascot is under attack.
The leprechaun is the fourth most offensive college football mascot in the U.S., a new survey by Quality Logo Products reveals.
Ranked ahead of him were San Diego State’s Aztec Warrior, Florida State’s Osceola and Renegade and the University of Hawaii’s Vili the Warrior, according to the Indianapolis Star.
But Notre Dame isn’t ready to cast aside its feisty mascot.
"It is worth noting ... that there is no comparison between Notre Dame’s nickname and mascot and the Indian and warrior names (and) mascots used by other institutions such as the NFL team formerly known as the Redskins," the university said. "None of these institutions were founded or named by Native Americans who sought to highlight their heritage by using names and symbols associated with their people."
The Irish have been a key part of Notre Dame since its beginning and played a major role in adopting the name.
"Our symbols stand as celebratory representations of a genuine Irish heritage at Notre Dame," the university said, "a heritage that we regard with respect, loyalty and affection."
The New York Post said the legendary mascot — which is depicted as a short man, fists up and wearing a shamrock hat — originated in England as a disparaging symbol for the Irish, according to university.
"Irish-Americans — including those at Notre Dame — again have turned back on former oppressors as a sign of celebration and triumph," the university said.
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